Square-ing the payment circle, with 21st century card and cashless trading made simple
Gradually, Europeans and Brits are stopping using cash. In fact, in a survey by electronic payment specialist Square, only around 30 percent of Brits said they have visited a cashpoint (ATM) recently.
Most shoppers are now expecting to be able to pay for their purchases either with a bank or credit card, or with their smartphone; typically Apple Pay, or Google Pay. In fact, attitudes are such that if people see a bar, restaurant or shop with a “cash only” sign, they’ll often turn away – these are the silently missed customers whose footfall goes elsewhere, without even crossing the threshold.
And when it’s time to pay someone – a builder or plumber, for instance – many still roll their eyes (at least inwardly) if told to dust off a chequebook, or go and fetch cash.
In the majority of cases, being charmingly old-fashioned and insisting on paper changing hands (cash, receipts, invoices, cheques) isn’t an admirable quality, unless your business involves antique viola repair or first edition manuscripts, of course!
So why do many small businesses right across the range of commerce find it so difficult to offer electronic payments? Until now, getting onto the cashless ladder was complex, expensive, and to be frank, barely worth the trouble.
Merchant accounts, payment terminals with wires spilling out of them, dedicated phone lines and eye-watering overheads – all this conspired to keep small traders offline. As for taking payments on a website; just too much even to begin to learn.
Now there’s a service parachuting into the UK from the US which aims to make it easy for businesses of all sizes to take card payments. Square is a fully-localised offering which comprises a complete, simple, good value and effective way to start taking card payments. With Square, you get:
- No long term contracts or monthly fees.
- Fees of 1.75 percent and 2.5 percent on payments (customer present and not present, respectively).
- Take payments by card & smartphone with a Square Reader, £39+VAT, arrives by post (in two days) or available in store (now).
- Simple and fast to set up and get running.
- Real-time analytics.
- Square is fully PCI-compliant
- Point of sale software and all apps free.
- Payments through to bank next working day
- Optional instant deposit (through in 20 minutes) with a one percent fee.
- Managed staff access (£3 per employee per month) to back end.
- Optional dock holds a Square Reader on the counter, £19.
- E-Commerce simple to set up via trusted partners (Weebly, WooCommerce, Wix, BigCommerce, etc.)
- 24/7 free support.
The company’s offerings are simple to use and get up and running in just a few minutes, plus the cost is more than competitive.
Take card or contactless payments for your goods and services with your mobile and the Square Reader, online or over the phone, and the money’s in your account the next working day. Or, if you’re in a hurry, an additional one percent fee allows you access within minutes.
Square integrates with software you might already use, like Xero or Zoho Books, and, out-of-the-box, will undertake inventory management and reporting & analytics. Square’s software integrates with many third-party, specialist systems for accounts, tax, employee management, and ticketing. For restaurant owners, Square works happily with Fresh KDS, the tablet-based kitchen display system.