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Square: Smartphone-Based Credit Card Payment Taking System Could Change UK Small Businesses in 2012

An innovative smartphone-based credit card payment system, which was devised for small Stateside companies by one of Twitter’s business-savvy co-founders Jack Dorsey, is starting to make big waves overseas. Square works with the simple combination of a credit card, a smartphone and an app – as well as a clever little clip on strip reader which replaces the need for a wired telephone connection and the expensive additional charges which come with taking a payment via the traditional cash-less method.

The “old school” chip-and-pin card payment system that requires a dedicated device, wired telephone connection and which takes a substantial service charge given to the credit card company can be costly (if not damaging) to a small or fledgling business, so Square offers a fantastic alternative and only charges a minor 2.75% fee per transaction. Lower than the average credit card company charges – and just by taking the payment on a smartphone.

The “Square” device from which the company gets it’s a name is actually a small magnetic strip reading attachment which easily pops into the top of an iPhone, iPad or Android gadget. Slipping a customer credit card into the reader links up to the registered business’ account and allows a transaction to be made directly between accounts through a free to download app which details the sale and records all relevant information. This method also means that payments can easily be taken on the move. Imagine a craft kiosk at the local shopping centre, a farmer’s market stall, mobile photography business or perhaps a payment on delivery service – where the Square system could be presented to the customer on location or at the doorstep.

The Square system comes with no set up costs and is currently used by well over 750,000 merchants in the United States. What this offers is essentially a “business in a box” and the company talks of releasing the scheme on this side of the pond in at some point in 2012 – and there’s never been a more opportune time to consider Square’s potential in the United Kingdom.

With budding entrepreneurs and small businesses desperately seeking to get their ideas off the ground, a simple little gadget could cut out a lot of the fuss that comes with setting up payment methods. Thinking further outside of the box, we consider the high level of our country’s unemployed. A number of whom do have an ambitious head on their shoulders but have not been able to fulfil their ambitions due to the expenses that come with starting a business and who could, with Square, potentially set up shop for themselves.

You can find out more about Square and how your business could one day benefit from it’s arrival in the United Kingdom at www.squareup.com

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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