Method Of Accepting Credit Cards at Art Festivals

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We have done some research on what some artists have been using when they accept credit cards from patrons. One particular method stood out – and we wanted to share it with you.

If you have an i-Phone, i-Pad, i-Touch & Android, then this method of accepting credit cards may be for you! It’s called the “Square“. Do any of our artists use this?

How does the Square work? Square allows merchants to process and manage credit card transactions with a handy little credit card swiping device that plugs into the headset/microphone jack. This sounds too easy!

The Square

What other methods do you use to accept credit cards?

If you have any questions about this post, contact us at 561-746-6615 or info@artfestival.com.

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About Howard Alan Events

For nearly three decades, Howard Alan and American Craft Endeavors have allowed more than 10,000 artists to exhibit their original work to millions across The United States. When our company began, our art and craft shows showcased a handful of exhibitors. Today, a typical Howard Alan or American Craft Endeavors event features 100-300 talented artists and fine crafters. No matter where you are, you are sure to find one of our stellar events nearby. Our shows take us to destinations like Aspen, Chicago, Alexandria, Vail, and Fort Lauderdale…just to name a few! Our great outdoor venues, fantastic crafters, and talented artists allow us to consistently be ranked among the top art and craft shows in the country. Visit a show and see for yourself why we are the very best!

18 responses »

  1. I’ve been using Square on my Android phone since June – LOVE it and Customers are fascinated by it. So easy to use, you can set up the sales tax so it automatically adds it, no fees except 2.75%, and the best thing is the money is transferred directly to my checking account in 2 days. I highly recommend it. I even sold the bracelet right off my wrist because I had it!

  2. I use another card swiper on my iPhone from appninjas (www.appninjas.com). The iPhone app is called “Swipe”. I also use a stylus from Ten One designs that allows users to sign right on the phone. I’m not sure how the Square processing works, but with Swipe, the transactions are cleared through Authorize.net. Authorize.net will also process transactions from your website if you sell that way.

    My one complaint about my appninjas card swiper is that you have to remove your iPhone case to use it. To deal with that I use a cheap gel case for the shows so I can easily slip it on and off.

    I was scared away from Square when I read in their terms that they would hold your money for 6 months. Is that false?

    • The money is deposited into your checking account in 3 to 5 business days. I tested it and it really worked. Also, it’s great because the customer receives an email receipt. This weekend will be the big test.

    • I was wrong, it was a one month hold that I was worried about but I just re-read the Square terms (last read them a year ago) and they have clarified that to be only for card not present transactions.

      My Swipe/Authorize.net solution costs $25/month plus varying card processing fees. Considering the costs, I’ll probably give the Square a try.

  3. I process credit cards through Securenet.com. I researched processors last summer for weeks before deciding on them. I found they had the best rates, no statement fee, no hidden fees, deposited our money in 2-3 days, no minimums, a 0.07/per transaction fee, have great customer service, and also I have a swiper for my iPhone and get the swiped rate wherever I am. Receipts are sent via e-mail and the client signs the screen and captures the signature in iPhoto to save if you want to have it on file.
    I highly recommend them. I have saved money by processing with them without any problems! I think they are awesome! Contact Brian.Kaplan@securenet.com for information. I would never use Square. Why on earth would I let someone use my money for longer than 3 days?

    • Not sure what misinformation people are getting, but SQUARE deposits most swiped transactions NEXT day … 99% of all transactions within TWO days. There are no transaction fees and only 2.75% — they even accept AMERICAN EXPRESS (something I have avoided with my Neurit).

      Also, the SQUARE plugin device is TINY and FREE! I have three of them (one that I keep in my car at all times, and two that I bring to shows. I can give the other one to my wife (she has a smartphone, too) and we can accept transactions at the same time when it is really busy (as we all know, sometimes multiple purchases come in spurts).

      SQUARE is the best. If you have a smartphone, just GO GET IT! It is free, so what are you waiting for. Stop reading about it, just try it — Nothing to lose! 🙂

      • I have the Square and agree that it is wonderful. A couple of issues – you cannot sync product descriptions on different types of devices; right now the only place you can put a description beforehand is on an Ipad. Funds charged over the weekend don’t get sent to the banks until the next day PST after 10pm. On Monday, I received a notice that the funds will get to my bank in one to three days for Saturday purchases. On Tuesday morning, I received a notice that the funds for Sunday had been transmitted. Their guarantee is that the funds will be deposited into your bank account one to three days after that notice has been sent out.
        They are working on getting the product issue put on the DroidX, but they haven’t even thought about giving the user the option to work on the internet to sync all devices.

        Bottom line – I love having this, they are in their growing stages, and things will get better and change with time. For me, it is a true “find”….Laurel

      • Hi Laurel,

        Not sure about the DROIDX platform, but I use SQUARE on both an EVO4G (Android based, my phone) and an iPhone (my wife’s phone). Both the EVO and iPhone work the same … They both accept signatures from the customer, I can take a “photo” of the item directly from my phone (or not) and add a text description of each item sold (for the customer’s record and my own, and I can also have a nice ICON/description/website plug/store address/phone on my receipts for the customer. So, if this is the “description entry” you were referring to, then perhaps you should update your app in Android market.

        True, i did not consider the weekend … i think of a weekend as a non business day (one day). So, perhaps there are cases where it may take 3 calendar days for some deposits to clear. However, if possibly waiting the extra day is an issue for some, then perhaps you should wait (realistically, most deposits occur in 1-2 days). But, for me, I save $27 per month in wireless fees and, during season, an additional $50+ per month in transaction FEES. Plus, I can’t tell you how nice it has been accepting AMEX at 2.75%. I actually opened my work to many new business clients.

        So, if it happens, one may get a deposit in three days (I don;t recall that happening to me, but perhaps it is because I don’t notice and am still decompressing after a long weekend :-). But the savings are substantial! As i said before, it is FREE, so why not try it?

        One more bonus! While testing my SQUARE, my signal in Atlanta for my NURIT was weak and could not be reached. My EVO + SQUARE got service with no issues! SQUARE saved the day. basically, if you can make calls, you have service … The coverage is superior.

        One drawback, if there is one. You do not get to see the customer’s email (that would be nice to capture their email for marketing). But, simple fix, as you should do anyhow with every transaction, is to make a little “Contact Card” that the customer could manually fill out to capture their email and address (optional).

      • Henry, what a fabulous idea to take a picture of the product! Thank you for sharing. My software is up-to-date, and the rep from Square said they are working on that platform so one can put product descriptions in. But the photo – you are brilliant! Thanks, Laurel

      • Oh wow … ha ha! No, the “picture” and description option is part of my SQUARE phone app. I assumed your DROIDX (which I thought was an Android, like my EVO-4G) had the same app. Perhaps you shoudl check with SQUARE or look for the current app in the ANDROID Market.

        When I open my SQUARE app, it directly goes to the transaction page. I could enter the amount and I can also click on a little camera-icon which would allow me to take a picture(s) of whatever item i am selling. I can also type a description of the item(s) sold with or without the picture. I am surprised you don’t have the same app.

        if for some reason it is not available for the DROIDX, then don;t worry, i imagine it soon will.

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