A new device from a company called Square snaps into an iPhone and lets any user become a credit card authorizing entrepreneur, with no setup fees or contracts, writes New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. Square’s chief executive is Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, and his latest idea might change the nature of transactions the way the ATM machine changed how we do our banking. “There are actually some good reasons individuals don’t accept credit cards; the whole system is a nightmare of fees and red tape,” Pogue writes. “To become a credit card merchant, you have to buy the card-reading equipment, which costs several hundred dollars. You generally pay a setup fee, and you commit to a one- or two-year contract with the processing company. You pay $15 to $25 a month, and minimum transaction fees of $25 a month, even if you had no sales at all. The Square Up system, on the other hand, eliminates that stuff. All of it. It makes the barrier to entry into the credit card world so low, there’s virtually nothing to stop you, the little guy, from taking the leap.” Square provides users with a tiny, half-inch reader attachment that snaps into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android phone. The reader has a slot where you can swipe a credit card. The Square plug is free, and for each transaction, Square charges you 2.75 percent of the total, plus 15 cents. “That’s a lot simpler, and usually cheaper, than actual merchant accounts, where you might pay 3 or 4 percent, depending on the kind of card, plus 30 cents a transaction,” Pogue writes…

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About the Author:

Denny Carter

Dennis has covered higher education technology since April 2008, having interviewed some of the most recognized IT pros in U.S. colleges and universities. He is always updating eCampus News with the latest in pressing ed-tech issues, such as the growing i


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