- Jim McKelvey knew he was close to losing a sale when a potential buyer said she needed to talk to her husband about the purchase. Her credit card had failed to process, leaving McKelvey holding a blown-glass bathroom faucet he’d hoped to be shipping to Panama hours later.“I know what it is like to sell things nobody needs,” said McKelvey, who makes and sells blown-glass artwork and fixtures. “When her credit card wouldn’t process, and she wanted to talk to her husband, I could hear that her husband was not going to approve the purchase.“
The experience set McKelvey on the path to launch Square, a mobile payment service that enables anyone to accept credit cards no matter where they are. The credit card reader works on Apple phones and tablets as well as the Android-based phones.
Vendors can sign up for the service by downloading the app and are mailed a dice-sized card reader that attaches to their mobile device enabling them to accept payments. The company boasts that there is “no extra equipment, complicated contracts, monthly fees or merchant account required.”
The allure of accepting mobile payments has fueled Square’s customer base. “A lot of what we are seeing is word of mouth acceptance from merchants. We see clumps of users in various industries like flight instructors, food truck operators and traveling veterinarians,” said McKelvey.
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