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Doug Miles 07-11-2011 10:08 PM

Intuit GoPayment vs. Square
As mentioned in another thread, a few of us have thought about getting a mobile credit card swiper. These are small devices that attach to the headphone jack of your smart phone, and allow you to swipe customers credit cards. Sounds like a great way to accept credit cards on the spot.

The two names that come up most often are Square ( ) and Intuit GoPayment ( ). So, I decided to sign up for both and see which one I like better.

Note: I signed up for both of them today (July 11, 2011).

Doug Miles 07-11-2011 10:25 PM


Both services provide free card readers when signing up.

Square has only one "plan"; 2.75% per transaction. For a $300 movie party, that translates to $8.25. I don't like losing $8.25 just like that, but it does save the time and energy of depositing cash or checks later (money is deposited directly to a bank account that you register). You can also "key in" transactions (I assume this is useful if a customer's card cannot be read by swiping?). The fee for keyed transactions is 3.50% plus $0.15 per transaction.

Intuit GoPayment has two plans (you select one when signing up). Money is also deposited directly to a bank account the you register.

Low volume plan:
No monthly fee
2.70% Swipe rate ($8.10 for a $300 event)
3.70% Keyed rate

High Volume Plan:
$12.95 / month
1.70% Swipe rate
2.70% Keyed rate

Intuit says that if you process more than $1,000 per month, you are better off with the High Volume Plan. I chose the Low Volume Plan (no indication if/how you can switch plans later though).

I would have to give the slight edge to Intuit here, but only because they offer a High Volume Plan if needed.

Doug Miles 07-11-2011 10:34 PM

Cards Accepted

American Express
HSA and Flex Spending accounts coming soon (doubt a movie party would be a covered expense though,lol).

No mention of Debit cards, and Square also stated the cards must be US issued.

Intuit GoPayment:
American Express (but it stated that I need to apply for this, which I did)
Diners Club
Signature Debit Cards

Intuit does not state that the cards need to be US issued.

Looks like another edge for Intuit. Although I would guess that Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover should account for almost every transaction.

Doug Miles 07-11-2011 11:27 PM

Sign Up

Square has a straight-forward sign-up process. They ask for business information (Fed. Tax ID, and personal information like last four digits of your SSN). But, overall it only took me about 15 minutes.

After signing up, I had to enter my account settings on the web account page (to add bank account info. and a few other settings). Also, I received a confirmation email right away.

Also on the web account page is a place to send yourself a text message containing a link to download the mobile phone app. This was easy, enter your cell phone number, and bam, you get a text message. Click the link in the text message and it takes you right to the app in App Market. Couldn't be easier.

Intuit GoPayment took a little longer to complete. But this was mainly due to the fact that it asked for more information up front (ie: bank account info). Took 15 minutes to a half hour to receive an email "approval". Not sure what exactly they were "approving". At the end of the sign up process though, you are kind of left hanging, not really knowing what to do next. So I just waited for the email.

Once I got my approval, I followed the instructions in the email (which took me to different Intuit web page than where I signed up). Once I figured out how to sign in, I followed the instructions to install the App on my phone. Not as easy here as Square. It has a way to send yourself a text message. The text message then asks you to respond with a "Y". But, all this did was give Intuit permission to send me another text message, containing the link. Why did they need two text messages to do this? So I click the link and it takes me to a web page with a list of instructions. The instructions basically just detail how I should go to the App Marketplace on my phone and search for the GoPayment App. Couldn't they have just listed the instructions on the website? Anyway, I found the App, downloaded it, and installed it.

I'd have to give the edge to Square on this one. Just a more pleasant sign up process. But neither of them really "wowwed" me.

Doug Miles 07-12-2011 01:08 AM

Swipe Device (hardware)

To be continued...

Doug Miles 07-12-2011 01:08 AM

Smartphone App

To be continued...

Doug Miles 07-12-2011 01:09 AM


To be continued...

Doug Miles 07-12-2011 01:09 AM


To be continued...

JPR 07-13-2011 05:31 PM

no contract? Can cancel at any time?

Doug Miles 07-13-2011 09:06 PM

Yep, cancel anytime with either service. Here a few snippets from the respective website:

One of the great things about Square is that we only charge per payment. There aren't any contracts, minimums, or any other fees to use Square. Basically, we don't charge you if you don't use our service!

First of all, getting it is simple and FREE: there are no setup or signup fees, no annual or monthly fees, no minimums, no transaction limits, no contract, and no cancellation fees.
If you never use it, you never pay a thing.

Almost sounds too good to be true.

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