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.