The name might not be as catchy, but it looks like a new card reader from cloud accounting company FreshBooks might give Square some competition. However this one will be mostly for FreshBooks users.
The Freshbooks Card Reader
Simply named the FreshBooks Card Reader, it seems to be a swipe device much like Square. Only with FreshBooks Card Reader, the app is integrated into FreshBooks’ accounting software.
This might make taking payments anywhere easier for FreshBooks’ account holders, but probably won’t help you much if you don’t use other FreshBooks services.
But for FreshBooks’ users the device could prove to be a convenient way to take mobile payments and keep accounting records and payment information in one place. Maybe FreshBooks is looking to be the next all inclusive simple to use accounting and payment system for small business owners. Per its blog announcement, “Many businesses are becoming more and more mobile – working from home or a coworking space, meeting clients at coffee shops and making phone calls in the car. Your accounting already keeps up with your mobile workflow with the FreshBooks mobile apps and now your payments will too.”
Freshbooks claims the Card Reader works right out of the box without any advanced set-up required. To use it simply start up the accompanying app, plug in the device and swipe your customer’s card. The Card Reader can take both magnetic stripe swipe cards and the more recent EMV chip cards.
The company developed and designed the new Card Reader themselves so it integrates with their other services and FreshBooks accounts. It also works with FreshBooks Payments, so when using the Card Reader payments and transaction fees are automatically recorded.
FreshBooks boasts that payments taken through the Card Reader are automatically deposited to your bank account. This could be a plus in its favor vs. Square, which promises deposits in one or two days from when payments are taken.
The device itself will cost $29 and comes with a one-year warranty. There are also fees for using the Card Reader. FreshBooks stated on their blog that Visa and Mastercard payments will cost 2.7 percent + 30 cents per transaction. Payments made with American Express will cost more, 3.4 percent + 30 cents per transaction.
For now the FreshBooks Card Reader will only be coming for iPhone, whereas Square can be used with both iOS and Android. Associate Product Marketer for the company Rob Guenette did comment that the company is hoping to bring the device to Android, but currently has no ETA for such an offer.
The FreshBooks Card Reader has no official availability date yet. If you have a FreshBooks account you can sign up for early access and updates on availability.
They’re a little slow to the party on this, but it’s a great move for FreshBooks customers.
Square is bound to get some competition. They have a good service going for them. So I guess it is good for them that Freshbooks is there. It also encourages them to provide better services.
I think that there will be more competitors in the future. It is not just Freshbooks. There will be more.
I wanted to try it out. I think that the technology by Square is amazing. But I am wondering how other brands are doing it. I can see how this can be the primary method of payment in the future.