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Square Stand credit card terminal coming to Apple Stores next week

updated 07:43 pm EDT, Fri July 5, 2013

System is iPad-based, offers portable and modular POS system

Square, the company that has offered various credit-card payment systems for Apple's mobile devices, is now partnering with the iPhone maker to bring a new Point-of-Sale (POS) system to market that will be featured in Apple retail stores. The Square Stand turns an iPad into both a credit-card terminal and full POS system that works with Square's Register app and external devices such as cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners along side the payment card reader. The $300 device will begin shipping on July 8 from Square's website, and be available for sale at Apple's US stores on July 9.

Oddly, only the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad can presently be used with the device, since the Stand requires a 30-pin connection. A Lightning-compatible version will presumably be made available soon. Square offers both the Square Stand on its own or a complete kit with a receipt printer and cash drawer in a "Business in a Box" package. At present, both are only offered in the US. Both are clearly aimed at small businesses that need services such as card payment options, inventory reports, payment accounting and employee logins without paying for an IT staff or elaborate setup.

The original Square Reader, a small device that allows any Wi-Fi or 3G/LTE connected iOS mobile device to accept credit card payments, has had a profound effect on small and micro-sized businesses. It allows merchants to quickly create a Square account, link to a bank account and begin accepting payments almost immediately. Square readers are particularly popular at trade shows and outdoor events, but can be used anywhere a wireless Internet connection is available. The credit card information is hardware-encrypted so that no sensitive data is transmitted in the clear.

Square charges a flat rate of 2.75 percent of credit card purchases for its service, which does not require a merchant account and has no other fees. Cleared payments are deposited directly to the bank of the business owner's choice, and reports are available showing what has sold along with the ability to create custom reports. The system accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover along with debit or gift cards that have a Visa or Mastercard badge on them, but does not accept non-badged debit cards which are still used by some banks and credit unions. Square can also accept HSA cards for some health-related businesses.

by MacNN Staff



  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    2.75% comission, incredible, what a deal ;-)
    I currently pay in my 'outdated system' a 0,7%

  1. azrich

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-19-10

    .7% is very cheap. I can tell you as a previous owner of a coffee shop, when your sales are on average $4-5 and you add tax & tip to that you wind up paying more like 4% or more after all those fees, which include stupid things like $9.99 for a statement. The processors charge a 'swipe' fee and a percentage. The percentage SOUNDS low, like 1.23%, but like I said, if you do the math at the end of the month you're really paying more like 4%. Particularly if you have a second phone line for your machine, or you had to buy the terminal.

    So I would have loved to have anything below 3%.

    They nickel and dime us to death here, just like banks.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    It's called a "convenience tax." You pay slightly more for drastically reduced complexity.

    Figure out the cost of setting up an actual POS system, complete with card readers, accounts, hardware, inventory software, etc., and you may see why paying a higher percentage rate on each swipe in trade for drastically simpler setup (iPad + stand + Square account) makes sense to some people, at least in the short term as their business is growing.

    With my current iPad, and the purchase of the Square card reader, I can be swiping credit cards in as little as a day. Try that with a traditional POS system and credit card authorization account.

    It's not for everyone, nor every situation, but in the age of micro-startups, it helps people get started and get started quickly.

  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    You may be right, I suppose I pay a 0,7% after some difficult negotations with my bank, and after assuring them a big amount per year.

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