Square enables credit card processing for smartphones

Square Credit Card processing gadget plugs in to the headphone jack

When you buy something from the Apple Store, the employee can happily take your credit card right next to the iPods and MacBooks on display. When you turn around to sell your old iPod on Craigslist, you can do the same thing using the Square app.  That’s right, the Square App is publicly available for the Apple iPhone, as well as with Android-based smartphones. Further still, they’ll gladly ship out a card reader so that you can start taking Visas and Mastercards with the best of them.

The app is mostly geared towards retailers, of course, but there really is nothing stopping an average Joe from taking this route too. The card reader (a small cube) attaches to the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android device. You swipe the card, the customer signs his or her name, and it’s done. There’s even an option to add a tip. A receipt is sent immediately via SMS or email.

This sounds incredibly convenient for all parties involved. Unlike traditional credit card merchant setups, the fees are settled at the end of each night rather than once a month. I don’t see a specific mention of the fees, but I’d imagine they’d be similar to a traditional merchant configuration.

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