Here’s a question for all you entrepreneurs who use Square to process your payments. What do you do when you can’t get a wifi connection?
Case in point: I was talking with an upset cab driver yesterday. He had apparently just taken a passenger a long way & the rider wanted to pay with his credit card. The driver was prepared. He took out his smartphone, ready to process the payment using Square; for those of you who have never heard of this company, it enables you to process electronic payments via your smartphone by attaching a little piece to the phone that allows you to swipe the card into their processing system for a very small fee. Obviously it allows you to do business from almost anywhere…assuming there is a wifi connection. In this case, when the rider saw that the driver was having a problem, he reportedly became agitated & threatened the cab driver if he didn’t return the card. The cab driver got confused and scared so he never got paid.
Sometimes You Have To Think Outside Of The 'Square'
What can you do if you should ever find yourself in this set of circumstances especially if unlike a taxicab, yours is a business highly dependent on repeat customers? Clearly the driver could have driven a block or two where he knew there was a connection at no additional charge but there is another very simple solution. The only thing required is to keep a plain white pad & pencil on hand. If you cannot get a wifi connection, after noting the name of the card holder, simply put the card between 2 sheets of while paper tracing out the account numbers as well as all the other numbers printed on the card face. Flip it over & then note the security code. This way you can manually input payment later. Unfortunately the driver was totally unaware that you don't need to "run" the physical card. For extra security, have the customer sign & date their approval. Be sure to give your customer your business card that details all necessary information as well. Additionally you can offer your customer a copy for their records or take a photo of yours & email it. This is a method used by brick & mortar stores when they lose electricity which also knocks out their connection to electronic processing. Like in most areas of life, it's pays to have a "plan B!"