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Why can’t everyone accept credit cards? Now there is no good reason because the Square Up system eliminates card reading equipment by providing cell phone users with an app that snaps into a headphone jack. The plug is free and you are spared the contracts, the minimums and the monthly fees. For each transaction, Square charges you 2.75 percent of the total, plus 15 cents. Alternatively, you can accept credit card payments without the card itself — over the phone, for example. You just need the card number, expiration date and security code, although these transactions cost you more (3.5 percent).


1. Assume that you sold a surfboard on Craigs List to someone who paid you $100 and gave you a credit card. If you swipe the card, how much would you pay to Square for the use of their system?
2. Assume the same facts as in Question 1, except that you do not have the card to swipe, but enter the number, expiration date and security code. How much would you pay for Square to process the transaction?
3. Assume that you sold the surfboard from your small business. What journal entry would you make in Questions 1 & 2?
4. Why do you think that Square has restrictions on deposits over $1,000 for first time users?

Pogue, D. (2010). A Simple Swipe on a Phone, and You’re Paid, The New York Times, September 30 (Retrieved online at