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The Coffee Cup Diner has seen a 40 percent increase in cus­tomers since investing in a new credit card payment system called “Square.” Square is a small, plastic card scanner that attaches onto any iOS or Android device’s audio jack and can accept all major credit cards.

“It has increased our business by 40 percent.” Owner Pai Rin­genberg said. “It’s [Square] good for us, and my cus­tomers love it.”

The Coffee Cup Diner pur­chased a Square in order to accom­modate college stu­dents, who often do not carry cash.

Another local business, Atti­tudes, has also con­verted to using the Square system instead of the standard bank-issued credit card scanners.

According to Jen Way, Atti­tudes owner, the bank-issued machines charge a 4.5 percent fee for each trans­action as well as a monthly service fee. With all the various charges, the total fee of a bank scanner is about 10 percent of each trans­action.

While Way has not expe­ri­enced an increase in business like the Coffee Cup Diner, she said it has saved her a lot of money.

But Way said Square does more for business owners than just bypass bank fees.

“It doesn’t tie up your phone lines,” Way said. “There is a solo account for each business, and the trans­action is typ­i­cally auto­mat­i­cally trans­ferred into your account the next day”.

Despite its perks, Way said Square still has a few flaws.

“The card readers are chintzy, we’ve gone through a lot,” Way said.  “But the concept is good.”

Square readers cost $10 each on Apple Inc.’s online store, and faces com­pe­tition from other com­panies pro­ducing similar products according to Miguel Helft’s CNN Money article, “Com­pe­tition seems to be esca­lating.”

Intuit, PayPal, Ver­ifone, NCR and others have mobile points of sale solu­tions, and they are “inno­vating in price.” However, since being the first company to invent the product, Apple seems to have an advantage over these newer cor­po­ra­tions with its Square.

The Square system of imbursement is becoming more popular in Hillsdale, making it easier for stu­dents and local indi­viduals to pur­chase items locally. The pos­itive effects of Square have been rec­og­nized by at least two local busi­nesses, and that number is sure to grow. A direct cor­re­lation can be tied between an increase in business or savings as well as smoother com­mercial-client inter­action. As more busi­nesses turn to using Square, the economy of downtown Hillsdale will con­tinue to improve.