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square secret swipe

posted Dec 11, 2010, 5:52 PM by Steve Craig   [ updated Dec 11, 2010, 7:33 PM ]
I picked up a little square serial credit card reader for my iphone today at the Wired store just north of Houston St in Manhattan.  These are part of @square, the new iphone personal payment system from @Jack, the twitter guy.

Great idea: let me accept credit card payments.  Charge me 2.75% + 15 cents if I run the card, and 3.5% + 15 cents if I type it in.

A $5.00 test payment came out to $4.71:
    $5.00 original
  - $0.29 fees: (2.75% = 13.75 cents)  + (15 cents / swiped)
 = $4.71

This means both @square services bracket the single price-point of 2.9% plus 30 cents.

Although cheaper than @paypal, in the beginning, @square is a tough sale.  Literally.

There certainly exists a square secret swipe technique; however, there is no mechanism for placing the app into "swipe practice" mode to learn proper technique.  This seriously detracts from any cachet squaring up on the iphone might otherwise posses.  The only thing that awaits is a 10-15 succession of reswipes until the information goes through.

Bear in mind, they give away these serial square swipers; it's amazing they work at all.  The lack of a practice mode in the app, however, is a basic oversight that hopefully can be easily resolved.