The Complete Guide To Getting A Free Square Card Reader For Your Business
The free Square reader is popular with many small businesses, but check out this guide to the Square reader to find out if it's the right fit for you!
Are you looking for an easy way to accept credit and debit card payments? Square has become synonymous with low-cost credit card processing and is a very popular choice for small businesses.
With the free Square reader that’s included with every account, you’ll be able to start taking credit card payments right away.
However, with recent advancements in credit card processing technology, the magstripe-only free Square reader is no longer the best choice for businesses looking for a mobile payments solution or those trying to avoid the expense of a dedicated countertop credit card terminal.
In this article, we’ll explore the current options available for merchants who need a way to accept in-person credit and debit card payments using their Square account. While the free Square reader for magstripe is a great entry-level option, we’ll explain why it shouldn’t be your primary method of accepting payments. We’ll also provide details on where you can obtain Square credit card readers and their associated costs.
Let’s get started.
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Square Card Readers: Get To Know Your Options
When Square first launched in 2009, the free magstripe reader “dongle” that came with your account was your only option for swiping credit or debit cards. Today, however, merchants have a variety of card readers and POS terminals to choose from.
For this article, we’ll confine our discussion to only those devices that have a mobile payments capability.
Where To Get Your Free Square Card Reader
Are you intrigued by the offer of a free Square card reader? If so, you might wonder where to get your free Square reader. As you might have guessed, it’s easiest to get your free swiper directly from Square when you sign up for an account. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can also purchase the Square reader through an approved vendor and get a credit for the purchase price directly from Square after you sign up for an account.
Do You Need A Promo Code To Get A Free Square Reader?
Square offers a free Square reader promo code if you purchase from a participating retailer. It isn’t so much of a promo coupon code as it is an account credit. You’ll need to pay for the reader, and then Square credits your linked bank account $10. You shouldn’t be paying more than $10, but we have seen some readers on sale for less.
If you’re purchasing the reader directly from Square, you do not need a Square reader promo code, because the magstripe reader is free to all new Square sellers.
Can Your Business Get By With Just A Free Square Reader?
The free Square reader is a great offer, but don’t let the free deal sway you without digging into the overall processing costs, features, and, ultimately, what you’ll need over the long term to grow your business. Your actual needs will depend on your overall processing volume, average ticket size, and other factors.
Businesses with higher-ticket sales should avoid using the Square free reader, except as a backup means of processing a transaction. We strongly suggest that businesses with higher risks of chargebacks and higher ticket prices go for an EMV-compliant reader, such as the Square Contactless + Chip Reader, so that you can get better protection from fraud and chargebacks. Although the Square Terminal is more expensive, it allows you to print paper receipts and integrates with other devices, such as a cash drawer or the Square Point of Sale system.
Low-volume, smaller-ticket businesses and those that only occasionally need to accept a credit/debit card payment are less likely to have issues with the magstripe reader. However, we strongly suggest upgrading to the EMV chip reader to future-proof your payments setup and protect you from fraud.
Overall, the free reader and the robust features that Square offers make them an excellent value for lower-volume small businesses.