Somewhat rounded off

I did drop in at the Merry Market today, to snag one of these calendars, and I noticed that the vendor had a little plastic square stuck to the top of her mobile phone.

“You’re using Square?” I asked.

“Why, yes, we are.”

“I have to see this,” I said, and pulled out the trusty Visa card. We went through several swipes with no result; I proffered Amex instead, with the same results.

The reasons why, we couldn’t tell. The teensy card reader, she opined, might not be picking up enough of a trace. Maybe if it were longer … but no. If they made it longer, they’d also have to make it taller, or they couldn’t very well call it “Square,” could they?

In retrospect, I’m thinking that maybe the reader was working just fine, and it was a lack of outgoing signal from the phone that was causing the failure. Cell service is spotty in some parts of town, especially indoors. And Square says upfront that WiFi is to be preferred to cell transmission. Not knowing how she had her phone set, I can’t swear to anything, but this makes sense to me.

And no, she didn’t lose the sale: I forked over a twenty, and that was that.


  1. Nicole »

    1 December 2012 · 7:20 pm

    I’ve had Square used at a few craft/art fairs I’ve been to this year. Seemed to work fine. It feels strange to sign my name with my finger on an iPad…

  2. Roger Green »

    1 December 2012 · 7:35 pm

    A “twenty”? What is THAT?

  3. CGHill »

    1 December 2012 · 7:38 pm

    A “twenty” is a standard U.S. currency denomination. The note bears Andrew Jackson’s portrait, and is worth, of late, somewhere around $6.

  4. erin »

    2 December 2012 · 10:22 am

    It’s worth noting that I finally got it to work and used it without incident for the remainder of the day… :)

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