TARA, ON—The Doctor’s House B and B is now taking credit cards thanks to Square, a card reading device users plug into the headphone jack of their smartphone.
Along with a free downloadable application, users can swipe credit cards anywhere to collect fees.
“It blows my mind how it actually works,” owner John Horton told CLN. “You plug something into the headphone jack and it actually scans.”
Horton—who owns the Tara, ON, bed and breakfast alongside his wife Miriam—said the biggest advantage was that the couple is now able to take deposits.
Horton said prior to July the business only accepted cash and had no way to secure payments from reservations who cancelled last minute.
“That’s really where it’s made the difference,” Horton said, adding there hasn’t been a cancellation since.
Square Register, the name of the app users download to use the card reader, is free for download from the App Store or Google Play.
“It takes care of payments, tipping, analytics and more so operations can focus on their clients and their craft,” Square spokesman Khobi Brooklyn said in an e-mail.
The cost of each transaction is 2.75 per cent with an additional charge of 15 cents if users manually enter the card number.
“If a business swipes $100, they will see $97.25 in their bank account in one to two business days,” Brooklyn said.
The application also keeps track of transaction analytics. Operators can see their complete sales history, view scheduled deposits and issue refunds.
“Simple charts and reports show sellers what’s popular with their clients,” Brooklyn said, noting the application tracks hourly, daily and monthly sales.
According to Brooklyn, Square is also working on a debit reader.
“We are aggressively working to build a debit reader that is both simple to use and affordable,” Brooklyn said.
Horton said he would like to see a device that could accommodate chip reading.
“Some Europeans don’t have cards with the stripe,” Horton noted, adding he appreciates the fixed rate on each transaction no matter which type of card is being used.
According to Horton, setting up the card reader and application is easy and anyone who can follow basic directions can do it.
“It works great,” Horton said.