“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.