I found your post interesting and timely , as I've been seeing a lot of Square ads in the past few days. Thank you for posting this!
Very interesting, have you or are you using Square, and if so what is your experience with it? I was wondering since we have discussed using if for part of our business but still want to do more research first and hopefully get some feedback from Square users.
Hello Llona. To answer your question directly, yes I have personally used Square in the past when it first came out. I have always tried to be as honest and unbiased as possible when discussing it (which many have trouble believing since I am in the traditional payment processing business) and in that regard have always candidly advocated that Square DOES in fact fill a viable necessary niche for SOME merchant types--that being very very small volume merchants, seasonal or temporary merchants such as holiday-only or weekend only venders, etc. By the same token, I also strongly advocate that Square is a terrible solution for more traditional everyday and/or higher volume business types--and therein lies the problem. Many merchants sign up with Square, naively assuming they are the same thing as a regular merchant account, only somehow cheaper or easier (false on all counts). In fact, the differences between Aggregaters (that's what Square is) and a real merchant account are very substantial and important to merchants, and I don't feel that Square has made much of an effort, if any, to clarify that, and instead has been content to just allow merchants to misrepresent to themselves what they think they are getting into by signing up with Square. I think merchants owe it to themselves to clearly understand the differences that will directly affect their business before making the decision to go with Square or a real merchant account. The answers lie in the verbage of the Square agreement, which I'm guessing few if any users ever bother to read or interpret. Some time ago I authored and published a detailed analysis of the Square Agreement, which is found on our blog at http://www.merchantservices-help.com/blog/square-terms-of-service/ should anybody wish to read it.
I just read in an industry publication that mobile payment provider Square appears to have received a cease and desist order from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional regulation, apparently concerning state money transmission regulations. Hopefully, this will stimulate some intelligent conversation as to how Square works with businesses, and specifically the very crucial differences between Aggregators like Square and traditional merchant accounts, which far too many merchants learn the hard way.