Android Central

Square's mobile point of purchase system has expanded beyond the U.S. into Canada today, marking their first step into international markets. Though Square didn't advertise any particular launch partners up north, they do have free headphone jack fobs available for small businesses to start accepting credit card payments on whatever Android devices they happen to be using. Transaction fees are 2.75% per MasterCard or Visa swipe, which is apparently pretty competitive. 

Unfortunately, Square Wallet isn't available to Canada just yet, but will be arriving in 2013. The app will enable users to pay for goods, use loyalty cards, get receipts, and leave reviews for businesses.  Although Square tends to be lumped in with iOS, their Android app has been available for a couple of years now. I'm interested in seeing if Square hops on the NFC bandwagon at some point, but for the time being, I'm sure they do reasonably well just dealing with Visa and Mastercard. It would be great to see some Interac support eventually, too.

Hey Americans, how often do you see Square in use in businesses? Should we feel screwed that Square Wallet isn't available right out of the gate? Keep in mind that we still don't have Google Wallet up here, or even anything like Isis, so this may be the best thing we can get for mobile payments for the immediate future. Any Canadian business owners interested in giving this a shot? You can sign up over here

Soruce: Square


Reader comments

Square mobile payment service comes to Canada


I think this charge is directed at the retailer, not the customer. If the retailer is already paying 2.75% to visa for the transaction this might end up being cheaper because they might not have to rent the swipe machine from them or a bank.

I think you misunderstand what Square is.

This isn't a card that people use to pay for things with, it is a POS (point of sale) service that businesses can use for transactions. The little device that plugs into your phone is free, you setup an account with Square & list your personal (or business) account on it so Square knows where to deposit the $ when you make a sale, they keep a flat 2.75% of the transaction & transfer the rest to the account that you setup.

One commenter below mentioned that they frequent a restaurant that use it on an iPad to accept credit card payments. It could also be useful for salemen that travel, street vendors, etc.

As others have said, this is not a fee for the buyer to pay. It's not even an app for the buyer to install. A seller installs this on their phone, swipes your card, and you walk away with your new whatever-you-just-bought and your card. It has nothing to do with your phone.

A local restaurant that I frequent has been using Square for their iPad for several months. I asked the owners about it, and they said that they really like it. They have used a more traditional point-of-sale credit card system for the past 5 years or so, and they said that Square is a lot more cost effective. They used to have to add a 39 cent processing fee on credit/debit transactions under $10, to help offset the charge for each transaction, but they stopped doing this when they switched to Square. I think that it's a great system for small businesses that were limited to cash only, or don't really do enough transactions to justify the traditional credit POS systems costs. Now if businesses could just get American Express to come down on their exorbitant fees...

I've seen Square show up in a lot of places that wouldn't have been convenient for traditional credit machines. My son is in Scouts and we use this to help customer pay for the popcorn that we sell during our annual fund raiser. I've seen these in various craft shows that I'm dragged to by my wife and from concerts of smaller bands to gun shows. I've also started seeing the Square stickers on smaller business work trucks like lawn services and handy man contractors.

I don't advertise that I accept Square; I advertise that I accept credit.

It's a service that I seldom use, actually. Most people write me a check and I'm fine with that. My checks are big and the percentage ends up being quite a bit of much as a tank or two of gas for the car.

My friend who owns a coffee shop replaced his cash registers with Square-equipped iPads a while ago and he's been thrilled with it. I see it pretty frequently at small businesses, specifically small restaurants and food trucks. Taxi cabs, too. The first time I ever saw it was at a booth at an arts and crafts festival in Philadelphia a few years ago.

The iOS version is significantly more feature rich than the Android version. We still don't have the ability to act as a true register, despite the name. On iOS, products can be created with specific prices, so that they don't have to be memorized and tallied.