From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2011 10:16 AM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - Square


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Cocktail Talk


February 2012

Cocktail Talk


Welcome to CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".


Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world. Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.


Cocktail Talk is archived on


Currently, on Cocktail Talk - the Square


Cocktail TalkSo the bank's newbie says; "Well Craig (not my real name) * , how do I know that CNCI will be banking here in a year? Or even be in business?"


So I say; "How do I know your bank will be here in a year? When I went into business, before you were born, you were First National Bank of Chicago, then you were National Bank of Detroit, then Chicago NBD and finally Bank One. You'll probably be doing business under some other name before I am."


Maybe like, um, I don't know, Chase?


So now I do business with Chase, and wonder if newbie is still there, how he's doing, if he lived to reach puberty. Just kidding, I really couldn't care less.


My new Small Business Specialist, Nancy (not her real name), is the sweetest little thing, all cute and Italian, and she hooked me up with this gizmo they offer called "Square".


Square is a device about the size and shape of a small ice cube that plugs into your iPhone and lets you take credit cards. The device doesn't cost you anything, Chase doesn't go flapping their lips telling you it's "Free". Enabling someone to give you money is not giving them a gift, Chase seems to get it.


You pay a flat 2.75% of what you take in no matter how much or how little. Not like a merchant account where you pay a different percent for different dollar amounts. No annual fee for the privilege of giving them money, no penalties, simple Pay-for-Play.


You even get little stickers listing which credit cards you accept that will fit right on the back of your iPhone. This could raise a few eyebrows if you leave your iPhone out on the table while waiting for your friends at a night club or somewhere. Please think before giving them to your children to put on their lunch boxes.


Square uses an iPhone App paired with a website. They are crisp, clean, and simple. You don't really need to use the Square. You can accept credit cards using the keypad on the iPhone App. But the 2.75% deal is for when you use the Square.


Sign in to your iPhone App. Plug in the Square. Tap in the amount you're being paid. Tap in a description, or take a picture, if you want. Swipe the card and tap the cash register icon. Now the buyer gets to sign, or not if you enable the no-sign under $25 feature, and get this, they can tip.


Square sends you an email for each transaction with a running total of what will be deposited that night. It also sends a text message or email, whichever you choose, to your buyer.


There's the website too. It has Help that's actually helpful. No, I am not pulling your leg. You can see all your transactions, receipts, deposits, payments, download them to a spreadsheet, things you'd want. You can set up the $25 rule and tax rate right in the App.


The website is also where you design what clients will see in their receipts. Company name, description, address, picture. Set up bank accounts, ask for another card scanner, and then there's Card Case and Loyalty Settings.


Card Case puts you on the map. People can see where your business is located and come spend money. Loyalty Settings let you configure discounts for frequent-fliers and high-rollers.


So, how does an average guy, an everyday Joe like myself, get in on the action?**


Maybe at a client I order gear online from one of my vendors, pay using the company credit card, make a note to expense it back, it becomes a line item the next billing cycle (maybe a month later), and the client pays me back. Why? Why tie up money that long on an expense?


My clients don't need credit from me. They've got credit cards and are more than willing to pay right on the spot. I can't use their credit card with my vendors. You have to register with vendors, there are reseller's licenses to file, credit applications, the whole enchilada.


Now I can satisfy the vendor by paying with my card, then swipe a client's card using Square, and they both hit the banks that night. Big companies pay big bucks to get their money in their hands as fast as possible. Something called Accelerated Close. Square let's me do that for $3 per hundred.


Are they going to be around in a year? Yes, I think so. Square has one of Sun Microsystems' founders as CEO, a partnership with a venture capital firm that has eBay's former CEO, financial backing from Visa, and Chase.


The problem is, I am now one of the people that carries a credit card machine with me. Like maybe, um, I don't know, a Hooker? So if they round us all up, if you see me on Cops sitting in jail with Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelly Long, and a whole bunch of Hookers, quick come bail me out. ***



If it's just me and Shelly Long, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.




Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips

CN Consulting, Inc.


* Just where does this 23 year old wet behind the ears refugee from a travelling freak show get the stones to call me by my (not real) first name? It's Mr. (not my real name), sonny.


** The first of two Michael Keaton movie Hooker references. Beetlejuice.


*** The second of two Michael Keaton movie Hooker references. Night Shift.


CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!



CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.


CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the use of information technology. We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.


CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.


We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.


Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being the foundation of Development.


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