Canadian Contractor

Steve Maxwell   

Product Review: Square Reader

Canadian Contractor

Contractors can accept credit or debit card payments on-site with this app

This can help contractors with the hassle of getting paid.

It’s hard enough dealing with the practical side of being a contractor without also adding the hassles of getting paid. This is where something called Square is helping contractors in a big way. It’s a card reader and app that works with the smartphone or tablet you already have, allowing you to accept debit and credit card payments on site.

Square puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to payments because you no longer have to wait passively for a client to pay a traditional invoice. “Would you like to pay now by card?” The ability to say this one, simple thing in person, at the end of a job, has improved the collection rate of real contractors I’ve spoken to.

“We struggled to get paid in a timely way,” says Calgary painting contractor Jon Bryant, “but we’ve solved this problem now. All our crew leads carry a Square card reader. When customers agree that a job is complete, they have the option to swipe their card and payment goes immediately into our business account. Strange, but callback rates have also gone way down since we got our crews outfitted with Square,” he says.

“It seems that people are more content about a job when they’ve paid for it.” The Square Reader for accepting magstripe credit cards is free and the Square Reader for contactless and chip is $59 and accepts credit and debit cards. Fees are 2.65 per cent for credit card transactions and 10 cents for debit transactions.

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