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

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Thanks for the report Elaine.

 

Just curious, when did you buy your chip reader? Is it the one that plugs into the headphone jack, or the bluetooth wireless one? If yours is newer than mine, I wonder if it has been improved. (If I left mine unplugged overnight, no way it would work the next day.)

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it is the bluetooth wireless Square Chip Reader.  i ordered it when they first came out. Received it on 12/31/15 but did not use it until just recently. I only do two art festivals one in Sept and one in Dec.  The rest of the year I take my work to a gallery in Columbus, OH and let them deal with point of sale. Mea, I am sure your volume of transactions per day is higher that probably takes a toll on how long the charge lasts.

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I thought I'd share these emails I've received from Square recently.

 

The first one is from about 2 weeks ago. They are acknowledging that chip card processing has been problematic for everyone. And they are promoting contactless payments as the alternative. And they lowered the price on their contactless reader. I don't think contactless payments are that widespread yet, even in my big city area. But I suppose it doesn't hurt for us artists to suggest that people try it. 

 

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And this one I got today. Now they are offering a FREE contactless reader for a limited time. I don't think this offer is available to everyone, just people who got this email. Existing customers only? Existing customers who purchased the unreliable plug-in chip reader? When I navigate to the Square website, I cannot find any mention of this deal. I hope this email went to all existing customers. Yes, I snapped up this offer right away. 

 

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I have had this reader since last spring but my phone does not like it only works well on my I pad.

I'm not using it now as I am only swiping and taking the liability but its so much faster .

Square covers me for $ 250 they said last week ob any bad cards.

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I have yet to have a customer ask to use contactless checkout. I think only the young hipsters use it.

 

I have used my Clover chip card reader for a dozen shows now, and have only had two cards that wouldn't work. One was definitely an issue with that specific card, as I ran another card within minutes and had no problem. The other time the app freaked out and I had to reload it onto my phone. I don't know if that was an app issue or a phone issue, as my phone is getting a little buggy with several apps lately. I have had zero complaints about how long it takes. Most people are surprised to see a mobile chip reader- it seems a lot of folks aren't using them yet.

 

I'm shutting down the online processing system that I have been using at my shop for the last couple of years. I'm just going to use my mobile system in the shop since I have wifi now. No sense paying for two systems. I bought a $50 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet for running cards in the shop. The Clover app wasn't available in the Amazon app store, but there's an easy hack to access the Google Play Store. The Fire tablet runs on Android, they just want you to use the Amazon store, so they don't make the Play Store available.

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I have a positive minor update. I used my new wireless chip card reader from Square yesterday. It wasn't a show, I gave a demo where students wanted to buy some of my sample pots. So I only made three transactions. I had some initial trouble waking up the device from its sleep state, but soon realized I wasn't pushing the power button far enough. After that, the processing went very quickly. Much faster than the plug-in chip reader. Also, I charged the device when I first received it weeks ago. I tried to top up the charge the night before the demo, but it indicated it was fully charged. I'm encouraged, and looking forward to trying it at a show (early December).

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I have this reader as well. It holds a charge for a full day. As you noted you just need to turn it on.I tend to forget to turn it on and catch it on my 1st sale.I charge mine every month or so.

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Well at one gallery we use the square and it works pretty well. The hard part was getting 30 people to understand the order of things but its pretty good. 

 

Our other gallery has Intuit Point of Sale and quickbooks.  While it works well now it was a nightmare setting it up and we are dealing with a little fallout still. Again, the learning curve for 30 artists is the big issue. So its working but everyday about 6 pm I wonder if I will get a tech support phone call. Laughable because I am only about one inch ahead in computer skills. I think I will do an art piece about tyranny of computers.     Rakuku

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One thing thats happened twice this past 3 month period with the square is two chargeback resolution disputes.

I had not had any  disputes in 5 years since I quit doing Fountain Hill Az  which has lots of old folks who forget where they purchased an item and often live in other states than the show.Sine I do shows in the western states this becomes more of an issue

This actually is a complex issue

I'll 1st give a primer on receipts

These days many do not want any receipts

So if they are in the square system and you have a good connection(meaning wifi or cell phone) they will automatically show up in the square system on checkout and you can send themas e-mail or text receipt -that said many do not want one.

The next point is since many times I have a line I do not want to spend the time entering their e-mail address into the square .I offer them a paper receipt.

What solves this is my customized paper receipts. I just write the total and stick in the bag if they want a receipt.I have my logo and contact info on a single copy small receipt book.

What I have noticed is only about 1/3 of folks want a receipt and even if they are in the square system only a smaller % want that receipt sent on to them

So in my booth its-

No receipt

a paper receipt

a square receipt

 

 

Ok back to the disputes

Now no matter how they end up with a receipt  or not they all get the visa bill months with their charges and here lies the problem .

Now I must add here that every credit card company has different ways of showing that charge-there is no standard.-This is a key point

With all square charges the customer on their visa bill line shows this

*SQ* your business name ,your town and state

Now in my case my business name is long so it cuts off after 21 characters

so my receipt shows this on their bill

*SQ* Liscom Hill Pottery W,town and state

That 21 characters

so when the customer visits a town on say a vacation and gets the bill they see a name they do not know and a town they have never been to.

If they have a memory they recall the pottery but since there is no phone # they just dispute the charge.

Thats ok as I always have their signature with square but its a pain in the neck working thru the dispute(I have always won) but its a time suck at best.

so I recently changed my  Business name with square to Pottery (my phone number) then my usual business name and address.

This shows on the square sent receipts

Now my credit card receipt on their  credit card statement reads Pottery and my phone number which is 21 characters

This may help the disputes as they can now call and they have the name pottery to jog the memory. They still may question the state as its not where they bought the pottery but they now can call and granny always has an AH HA moment during that call.

So with square you need to realize a few points you may have not considered  and remember with receipts there are many kinds at the same point of purchase.

 

One thing I had learned with my credit card sever/swiper  was thru Amazon this never was an issue as they displayed more info and my phone number was on the credit card statement. I had to go back to square when Amazon left the credit card business.Now its an issue I had to work thru again.

Most of you this will not be an issue unless you sell in a few states at shows.

Sorry about the long post but its not a one line issue

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Thanks Mark!

 

I just went and updated how my name appears for Square. Changed it so that my phone number follows immediately after Pugaboo. I hadn't thought about the credit card statement truncating the name and dropping my phone number. So far I've been lucky and haven't had any charge backs with Square but preempting the issue is a good idea. For the digital receipts I have it set to lavender along with my logo but you are right a lot of people don't want any kind of receipt at all. I do attach a sales card to the bags and it has my logo on one side and my contact info on the other but who knows if they keep that or even look at it.

 

T

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Since square has the signed finger receipt all they are asking for is any addition info about the sale. Its more of a mental hassle as square covers up to $250 on any given day. These two where all won on my behalf but having the credit card statement have a phone # that shows is the best insurance.I always run a dollar charge now and again to see what it looks like on my credit card statement

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I am hereby going to stop complaining about chip cards. I spent the last two weekends using my new Square bluetooth chip card reader, and I had no problems with it at all. The connectivity and processing were very fast, battery life was great (accidently left it in my booth one night, still worked the whole next day without charging), and overall it was very reliable. It impressed a lot of customers too.

 

Granted, one show was indoors in a big city, so my cellular signal was strong. The other show was in my house with a wifi connection. So I have yet to try it when the cellular signal is bad. But I can plainly see that this piece of hardware is in a different class from the plug-in chip card reader.

 

I'll shut up now!

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Mea are you using an iPad or phone with your reader?I was using mine with my phone until this late fall.

I have this fall gone the other way and am using my I pad (mini) and not using the my chip card reader-just swiping all cards.

The thicker (about 3 card thickness) I just manually enter. I'm doing this for speed of sale.I'll go back to the chip reader when I do spring shows and the crush of customers is gone.

Since changing my name on the recipe to POTTERY and then my phone # . I have had zero chargebacks.

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I use an iPad mini. I can have the chip reader connected by bluetooth, and the swiper plugged into the headphone, and use whichever one as needed. Although I can count the number of non-chip cards I took this month on one hand.

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Well at one gallery we have the square with an i pad and it works quite well. At the other we have a more traditional chip reader that came from Intuit with their software. Its not so good. gets the job done but slow and the screen instructions are confusing. With 28 people using it to sell, it gets bolixed up. wish it were easier.   rakuku

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