By: Square, Inc.
Cost: No monthly charge. No transaction fee. Sales percentage: 2.75 percent swiped, 3.5 percent keyed.
Minimalist. Square brings simplicity to mobile credit card transactions. The app is minimalist--"elegant," in the words of MIT's Technology Review--from its logo to its transparent pricing model. A streamlined credit card payment process contains as few steps as possible, and the user interface is free and clear of unnecessary features. Simply plug the little square scanner to your audio port, swipe the card, input payment amount and you have a deal. A finger-signature field and SMS or email receipt makes the transaction official.
Pro: Steering clear of byzantine merchant account terms, Square's simplicity offers a manageable solution for even the smallest vendor.
Con: Higher-volume merchants may be turned off by the high sales percentages and the 30-day waiting period for sales over $1,000. Security measures are less sophisticated than those of some competitors.