That's where Square comes in.
Square is an innovative payment system for businesses and individuals to accept credit cards. It eliminates all of the hassles of applying for, setting up and actually operating a credit card system for a small business. With Square there is no credit check, no hardware costs and no fixed costs. For any transaction, Square charges 2.75 percent per swipe (3.5 percent if you enter credit card numbers manually plus 15 cents per transaction) and there are no commitments and no contracts. Deposits are made daily to your bank account.
The system operates with a small, white or black plastic square that gets inserted into the audio jack of an iPhone. Launch the app, tap a number and then swipe the card. The transaction then gets transmitted through a global payment network and a second later, a simple screen appears and prompts the purchaser to sign a field with their finger. It asks whether you prefer a receipt by email or SMS. A final screen then tells you that the transaction is complete and seconds later the receipt appears in your inbox.
According to Michael T. Ashy, VP of Sales for Earth Channel, "If you're an iPhone or iPad user, then I can highly recommend using Square (https//squareup.com) - I've been using it for about 9 months and it couldn't have been easier to sign up and use. Compared to traditional payment gateways, this was a dream." (Square actually works on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch).
The reader is free when you sign up or you can purchase it from the Apple Store for $9.95.
There are many applications for the use of Square in government. Also, think about the possibilities of using Square at a candidate fundraising event. No more chasing the check - swipe a credit card on the spot and get a campaign contribution immediately.