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Chip Card Readers. How Do You Like Yours So Far?

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it sounds as if you must use the chip and cannot use the swipe if there is a chip in the card.  is that true?

 

If you are using a chip card reader, and the card has a chip, you must use the chip. 

 

If you are using a mag-stripe only reader, you can swipe any card.

 

 

 

 

If the transactions are excessively slow, what happens if you put it in offline mode, and process the transactions when you get back to an area with wifi? (How many clients have their transactions not approved in a given sale day?)

 

I will say that people do become accustomed to a few extra seconds on the transactions, but there is an adjustment period. Also, the transactions do get faster as they work out the bugs in the overall technology.

 

 

For the Square chip card reader, you cannot do offline mode. The Square system will only allows offline mode when it cannot detect an internet signal. And because the chip card reader doesn't connect to the app when there's no internet signal, there's no way to capture offline transactions.

 

The Square offline mode does still work with a mag-stripe only reader.

 

 

 

Bottom line for Square users ... always pack a mag-stripe only reader as a backup.

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One other note is since i have been in the art show business since 1973 their has been so many technologies than have come and gone for taking credit cards.

Really the most dependable was the knuckle buster or at least that what we called it back in the day where you put the card over the paper receipt and imprinted it.

Since then all the radio wave and cell devices have all had issues mostly from to many of us all on the current technology at a show and overwhelmed the circuits .

This new one also seem that way at times-its really the same old story -saves time and is secure until it fails which seems to me to about like all the rest that have come before.

I still have a knuckle buster and receipts in van if my unit fails and I meet to capture the info.

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With Square, there is also more liability attached if the customer keys in their card numbers on your phone manually (if you are without the unit) but it does work very quickly and smoothly.   

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Quick update on the Intuit chip card reader. I was planning to test it at a show this past weekend. My plan was to use the Intuit reader one day, and the Square reader the second day, to get an apples to apples comparison. However, it was another outdoor show with iffy cellular data available. I never had a problem getting the Intuit app and reader to see each other, and the connection was faster than it takes for the Square reader to connect to the app. However the transaction time for the Intuit reader was horrible. Long enough that it became a real customer service drag. I started handing the iPad to the customer and saying "when this stops spinning, please finger sign" while I wrapped the pots and sometimes it would still be processing when I was done wrapping.

 

I can't say if the slowness was due to Intuit's system or the cellular data connection.

 

I couldn't use the Square chip reader at all, due to the spotty internet. I did get it to connect to the app first thing in the morning, but by the time I opened the app a second time, it had quit working. Argh.

 

I gave up on both chip readers by the middle of the first day, and used the mag stripe reader for the rest of the show.

 

I'm done with shows for the summer, so I'll try to give more thorough thoughts about the Intuit chip reader in the fall.

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I agree with Mea's last statement.  It is the chip cards that have not caught up with the technology we are required to use or vice versa.  My sincere hope is that if we all complain enough to the reader companies, they will hustle along and improve the situation.  There are so many places using this system that it has to be a money maker for Square, Payanywhere, Inuit....etc.  Apparently we need to be voicing our frustrations to them.  I tried to use my chip reader two weeks ago and it would not work.  But the swipey thing did.

 

Roberta

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My Clover chip reader had a couple of issues this weekend at a show, but I'm not sure if it was because of the slightly spotty cell signal (had 4G all the time, but sometimes only 1 bar), or the chip reader itself, or my phone (it's been buggy lately). I had one card that I could not get to work, and had to manually key it in. It would not let me swipe it because it was a chip card. Another one I thought I was going to have to key in, but it eventually worked. It was having trouble connecting to the card reader, so I think that was a phone problem. A lot of apps on my phone have been crashing lately, so I think it's time to get a new one. I've been using it for two years, so I'm due for an upgrade. This is the first time I've had those issues this summer. I've got 5 more shows to go over the next 7 weeks, so we'll see. If it happens again next weekend I'll have to spring for a new phone.

 

I used to use Intuit for mobile transactions, before chip readers, and I always carried multiple card swipers with me because they were always dying. Intuit's rates also kept going up, which is why I switched last year. They told me they raised rates every 6 months and that I would have to call to renegotiate. I just got sick of the hassle.

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This past 3 day weekend I used the square stripe reader-as the cell signal is sketchy at best at show. All was fine until around 1 Pm when all vendors are taking cards and signal strength /bandwidth goes to heck. I turned on store forward feature  on (i'm liabel for fraud) and took cards for another two hours then switched back to regular mode.The square automatically ran the offline numbers when signal was strong enough. The next day (Saturday) and Sunday zero issues.I had to manual enter a few chip only thicker cards-one was from Europe and one was USA bank. Chip only very thick cards.The card info is printed on back of card not on front.

I had well over 200 customers for 2 days and almost that many on Sunday.

Before show I dumped all my chip software on phone and I pad. Only the iPad worked as its got a better antenna (I thinK). So my I phone was out this show(funny as it worked fine here last year(verizon)

Mea I never let a customer hold my iPad as they will drop it over time and you are toast then.I always hold it for them,I should mention I have a helper as well so one of is wrapping the other working the sale hence its a speedy transaction.

We are in a really crappy  in-between time with cards and data transmission .I cannot wait for this to get fixed but know the next thing will be almost as bad.

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Yea, I wasn't crazy about handing over the iPad. It's one of the reasons why I said "enough" to the Intuit reader. Though I wasn't worried about anyone dropping it. I was more concerned about greasy fingers and theft. Luckily this show was in an upscale beach resort area, so theft did not seem likely. I do some shows where theft is a real problem, where I am careful to never let go of the iPad.

 

We can have a whole different discussion about helpers. I think I am way too much of a control freak to have a helper. I don't have enough interest to train somebody. And I think a second person takes up too much space in a 10x10 booth.

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ok, all you experts.  it is only one month until a show in metro washington DC.  this is a small show and i hope to have something to take credit cards by then.  i hope to enlist my daughter in law and her phone as a cashier because she works at a huge supermarket as a cashier and is used to handling money.  

 

Paypal has a card reader.  i have a paypal account.  is this a good way to go?  i can purchase a paypal reader at Staples, the only store nearby.  who do i talk to about using it?  is there a way to practice?  

 

i have absolutely nothing right now, do not live where cell phones work.  yea, true.

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If you are already comfortable with PayPal, then getting the PayPal reader is a good choice. It means you don't have to give your bank account number or social security number to anybody new right now. And if you already know how to transfer funds from PayPal to your bank, then that's something you don't need to learn now.

 

Order the reader, and ask your daughter-in-law to download the app to her phone. When the reader arrives, you and your daughter-in-law should have a lunch meeting in Harpers Ferry or Martinsburg, where you both can practice using the app and the reader.

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Mea I only have a helper when I have a double booth.

This one has sold my pottery for over 35 years so training is a non issue-she sells better than I could ever do.

I only have about 3 people that I know that are great at it and have worked with me for decades . I rotate them as I only do 4 doubles a year at shows.Singles I do alone.

I usually have lots of space in a double 

Heres my last weekends show booth which is unique for me(only set up like this once a year) as its people on both sides  walking by and my racks are set up for 360 degree access . It works great as its an intersection end booth with lots of foot traffic in center of street.

 

This was my 23-or 24 year doing this show.I drive home in am 800  miles.

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We have paypal bluetooth reader.  It is a combo reader supports mag stripe chip and tap to pay.  works fine xcpt it goes to sleep and disconnects to conserve battery.   Reconnecting sometimes requires a couple of tries.   chips are and will probably always be slower than swipe due to the enhanced security process.  Just need to expect that.  Strong wifi or strong cellular data connections are important.  Weak signals take up to 5x longer to process payment.  Does not matter who's it is.

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We have paypal bluetooth reader.  It is a combo reader supports mag stripe chip and tap to pay.  works fine xcpt it goes to sleep and disconnects to conserve battery.   Reconnecting sometimes requires a couple of tries.   chips are and will probably always be slower than swipe due to the enhanced security process.  Just need to expect that.  Strong wifi or strong cellular data connections are important.  Weak signals take up to 5x longer to process payment.  Does not matter who's it is.

 

This.

 

Give it 3-6 months, and update the app regularly. Remember when square first came out, and there were regular connection issues where the reader was a total pain? The problems got fixed, and so will this. Backup plans are clearly a good idea to have in place.

 

I've signed up for the First Data Bluetooth debit card reader, and I'll keep people updated on that one once I've used it. They aparantly do all of Square's card processing for them, so the back end is the same. One of the big shows I signed up for at Christmas got everyone a really good rate.

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Slow connections with chipped cards are not good for a 235 customer day.

Store and forward on the swiped cards on the square saved me on that day.Yes I was going to eat it if they had used a bad card-but I have not had a bad card in eons.

Twice during that last 3 day show I just wrote what they owed me on a business card and asked them to mail me a check.Both times the square said there card was bad since I was taking a chipped card  with a swipe and security shut the card down after a few sales at the show.

Both purchase where over $200. The 1st brought back her husband with another card after I told her to mail the check and bought another $300 the next day.

The other party mailed the check and it was home before I got there myself. They both could not believe that I would trust someone like this these days.

Usually these folks are my customers for life after this trust. I can tell certain qualities about my customers and when this is safe to do. Or I should say never be burned yet doing this.

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Mark,

 

THANK YOU!

 

I was accepted into a festival months ago but only today, 3 days before the event, did they email to say that the site has little to no cell phone signal. They are trying to get a wifi system set up to give vendors a way to log in and process sales that way but this was still in the works and they would let us know by the day of.

 

I kind of got a little upset, hmm I wonder why that would be nobody uses credit cards at festivals after all. Seriously though as much as 75% of my sales are with credit cards, even small $10 sales, so this makes a huge difference for me!

 

I have both a PayPal Here swiper as well as an Etsy swiper, neither of which offers the store and forward option. I just now finished signing up for a square acct and installing the app on my phone thanks to reading the forum and your entry. I don't have time for one to be shipped but my nearest Walmart has them in stock and I did an online order to pick one up tomorrow. So now I will at least have an option if when I get there I can't get a stable signal.

 

Once again this forum and you all came to the rescue!

 

T

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Ok, so a short update: I received my First Data swiper and Bluetooth reader, but I haven't field tested it yet. The back end is a pain in the @ss. I did figure it out, and it made sense once I knew what was going on, but it involved calling customersupport because there's no printed or online manual (?!?). Also, if you want certain data collected, like the number of specific items sold, you have to call customer service and have that set up. The customer support was fine, but I think it's dumb to not have a manual for the basics like this.

 

Also as a heads up to Apple users: these guys favour Android quite heavily. The app to use the Bluetooth chip reader on the iPhone does not allow you to ring in individual items; you can only enter a dollar amount. I am assured that an update to fix this particular lack of function will be rolled out sometime before Christmas. You can ring in individual items and charge tax on Android devices,and on IPad.

If you're considering this one, I'd hold off for a few months. They don't have their poop in a group yet.

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Next week I will be trying out my square chip reader for the first time.  Last year at this show no problems with cell phone reception and the swipe Square reader worked great.  Some of your comments have me nervous about using the chip reader.  I will let you know after the show .........?

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Used my Square Chip Reader for the first time at the Art & Apples Art Festival, Rochester Michigan last weekend. After reading a lot a unsatisfactory comments about chip readers I was pleasantly surprised. Other than needing a few minutes to connect on the first sale it was just fine.  It is slower than the swipe reader but that is the same in any of the established retail stores as Macy's.... This festival is in small town city park. There is very good cell phone reception through out the park.  In a more remote area it may be different. On Saturday, the second day of the show, we had to close down abruptly because of weather.  In the rush I left my chip reader in the tent over night. I had planned to recharge all my digital devices each evening.  On Sunday I was relieved to find the chip reader was still charged and held the charge all day.  I have been using Square with my IPad for three years and been happy with the point of sale and the report data available to me.

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