Credit cards on your Droid or iPad

How often does this happen — you’re out for dinner with friends, and when you get the check, several people don’t have cash and want to pay with plastic? Or maybe you want to split the cost with someone of a birthday gift. Or you have a small business that takes you on the road, or a side business selling stuff on Craig’s List, and people want to pay with credit or debit cards.

Squareup deviceIf you have a Droid, iPhone or iPad, a company called Square can make your life a lot easier. They provide you with a small, square card reader that connects to your mobile device. You can then accept credit card payments. And there’s none of the usual hassle of a processor doing an intrusive background check. Just fill out the form on www.SquareUp.com, and they’ll send it to you. Even babysitters are using this service.

For me, the most surprising part is the cost. They charge you 2.75% for each transaction, and that’s it. No monthly charges or anything else. That’s what any business would expect to pay. Compare that with some well-known, online credit card processors that will take up to 10% of your receipts.

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