Author Archives: Robin

Robin has worked in technology, ecommerce and payment processing. When he's not busy writing reviews, he also enjoys camping and hiking with friends and family.

Using a Receipt Printer with Square for Android

Today we’re going to be talking about receipt printers you can use with Square for Android. So the receipt printers you can use are Star Micronics USB interface receipt printers, and Star Micronics Ethernet interface receipt printers. The one we have here is the TSP100, it’s been replaced by the TSP100III, and we have the USB interface version. To use it with your tablet or phone with Square, all you need to do is use a micro USB to USB adapter, you plug that in to the micro USB port on your tablet, and then you take the USB cable from your printer and you’ll plug it in to the adapter, and then Square will recognize it and it will say “Star printer has been connected” and then when you’re in Square and you have an order and you want to check out and charge the customer, you can go ahead and charge them, and if you want to print a receipt, it’ll go ahead and print a receipt for you. You can learn more here.

Star Micronics TSP100/143 Receipt Printer Review

We’re doing a presentation on the Star TSP100 series thermal receipt printer. This is actually the Star TSP143, and this is a USB one that we have right here. It’s also available in Ethernet and other interfaces, wireless as well. The nice thing about this receipt printer is it’s actually one of the fastest thermal receipt printers on the market today. It’s 250 millimeters/second print speed, which is very fast indeed. Learn more here.

In addition to that, it comes with a four year warranty and it also comes with a very innovative utility that comes standard with it at no additional charge that allows you to compress the font size on the receipts. This will actually over time save on paper and of course your costs for receipts over a period of a year or more. It also allows you to add logos and other designs to the receipt. This is nice to have in case your point of sale software program is inadequate in these areas to be able to allow you to do a customized receipt. As you can see here with the receipt printer, we have a standard feed button and you have your error light and of course your power on and off indicator as well. So one other thing too about the receipt printer is that the interface type is hot swappable, so that means that this particular printer is USB…

But let’s just say later on down the road you may need to have an Ethernet interface for this printer and have it be a network printer; you can easily purchase an Ethernet card, take out the USB one that’s in there now and upgrade your printer to an Ethernet interface at nominal cost. So we’re just going to do a quick transaction here so you can see the speed of this Star TSP100 series printer. Let’s put this in here… so as you can see here… it also has an auto cutter feature in there as well. By the way ,so I think you probably saw that where the paper was cut, it cuts it up to about here in the corner, and you can just easily remove it.

This is your receipt right here. As you can see here you can also print barcodes, and as I mentioned earlier with the standard utility that comes with this if you wanted to save on paper you can compress the size of the font smaller so your receipt will be less, thus, saving paper over a period of time. This receipt printer is economically priced in regards to other printers that are on the market that are direct competitors, so we highly recommend this printer for the overall value functionality and also the 4-year warranty, which is also pretty much unheard of. Most thermal receipt printers are only about one or two years, so four years is outstanding.

Receipt Printer Basics – A Quick Lesson On Receipt Printer Basics

There are two main types of receipt printers. There is the older impact receipt printer which uses ribbon and the newer high speed thermal receipt printers that uses thermal transfer instead of using ribbon. Both of these can do duel colors though thermal is primarily just a single color black. You need a very special paper to do duel colors and you also need a printer capable of doing duel colors. This is the impact receipt printer. This was your older type of receipt printer. These two are older receipt printers themselves. Instead of using the more common drop in loading it uses a take-up section so you actually have to mount the paper into this holder and then feed it into the printer. This is set up in the same way. Newer receipt printers use drop in loading, you pop in the top, drop in the receipt paper, close it and you are ready to go. Ribbons come in a few different colors. See more information about receipt printers here.

This is the red black option. There are also straight black and straight purple depending on your color needs. The disadvantage to impact printers is the sound on it. They are quite loud. If I run a print test on this guy. Um so they make a lot of noise but these are still the most common printers in the kitchen as that the paper isn’t affected by heat.

If you put a thermal paper under a heat lamp sometimes it can turn black making it a little hard to read. This won’t be affected in the same way. Here are thermal receipt printers. This is the budget Epson TM-T20 ReadyPrint. It prints at 6 inches per second and has an auto cut. This is the faster Epson TM-T88V. It prints at about 12 inches per second and again has an auto cut. A couple other models. This is the POS-X HiSpeed and this is the Seiko Qaliber. The Seiko Qaliber is a bit smaller than the other models.

It’s five inch square. This is your more traditional sized printer. The speed on the Qaliber is comparable to the 88V or the POS-X HiSpeed, it’s just a smaller shell. Looking at the interface for printers the budget receipt printers tend to be wired in. So, like this is a serial printer and all it can be is a serial printer, there is the serial port and that’s how it is. If you look at the 88V or the POS-X HiSpeed the interface card is mounted by a couple of screws. This card can pop out and then you can switch from being in this case a USB interface to being a serial or a parallel. The POS-X is the same way. This card can be replaced so you can switch it to a different interface.

Additionally there is a USB port built into both the POS-X HiSpeed and the 88V so even if you bought a parallel today and you want to go to USB you don’t have to change out the card you can just plug in a USB cable. So these are the two most common types of receipt printers. Your impact receipt printer which uses ribbon and your thermal receipt printer which uses thermal paper. They’re available in USB, Serial and Parallel. Impact receipt printers are normally available with an Ethernet interface as well if you’re going to be using it in your kitchen that will give you a longer range and you can put it away from your point of sale system. USB is typically the most common in thermal since it is right next to your point of sale system.

Square Virtual Terminal

With Virtual Terminal, you can key in card payments right from your computer. Just head to your Square Dashboard and charge your customers in seconds. No extra hardware, reader, or app required. You pay three point five percent plus fifteen cents per transaction, the same rate as other manually keyed-in transactions. And just like other standard Square payments, you get your funds in one to two business days. To take a payment with Virtual Terminal, log in to your Square Dashboard. (As a side note, learn more about the new Square Register here.)

In the left-side panel, click Virtual Terminal, then Take a Payment. Enter the payment amount followed by your customer’s card number, expiration date, CVV, and billing ZIP code. Add a note for your customer, or describe the purchase. Then, click Charge. You can send an email receipt to your customer, or print one out for your records. Once you see Payment Successful on screen, you’re all set. Payments you take with Virtual Terminal appear as card transactions in your Sales reports. In your Transaction Status Report, the source appears as Virtual Terminal. You can edit your Employee Management settings to grant employees access to Virtual Terminal. Start by clicking Employees, located in the left-side panel of your Square Dashboard. You need at least one employee in your employee list. To give an employee access to Virtual Terminal, click the name of the employee whose permissions you’d like to update.

Then, click Edit Role. If it has not been checked off already, toggle on Access Employee Dashboard. Check Take Payments with Virtual Terminal. Then, click Save. After you grant an employee access to Virtual Terminal, they receive an email with instructions on how to use it. Employees can only see account information that you have granted them access to. Whether it’s you or your employees taking payments, Virtual Terminal helps your business get paid fast—no matter where your customers are..


How Square Works

You probably know Square as the little white reader that lets you accept payments anywhere. But there’s so much more Square can do to help you work smarter and save time. It all starts with our Point of Sale app. The Point of Sale app is simple, powerful and highly customizable. It works in all kinds of setups, including Square’s beautiful hardware, but right now, we’re going to focus on the apps. First off, you can name and organize your products and you can take pictures of them for faster checkout and less employee training. Which means you or your employees can easily take a payment for, say, a pizza. Just tap the item, add some toppings, then bingo – you’re ready for them to swipe, dip or tap. Learn more about these kind of mobile payments here.

A tip window pops up, customers can then sign and you’re all set. It works perfectly, whether you’re selling clothes, coffee or cradles. But the point of sale app does more than just take orders. It lets you add employees so they can clock in and out, and give them secure permissions to keep control of what they can see and do. You can also create and manage your customer directory, right in the app. You can keep a card on file for regulars, which is great for recurring charges. And through digital receipts, your customers can send you feedback directly, which shows up right in your Dashboard. What’s your Dashboard you ask? Dashboard is a free resource from Square that’s built to help you make better business decisions. When you open it up, you’ll see this main page with high level metrics, and then you can click to see your sales summary, best selling items, and over here, a comparison to previous performance. With real time information, you can keep track of your business constantly…

..from anywhere. You can access your Dashboard with the mobile app, whether you’re at another location, or a beach vacation. You can manage multiple locations all from the same app. You can click here to see sales from different locations and see which employees have sold what. You can also integrate 3rd party software seamlessly through Square Dashboard. You can sync with apps for bookkeeping, tax prep, e-commerce and more. All to help you save time, work smarter and make more. With the Point of Sale and Dashboard apps, it’s easy to get started, train employees, and manage items, inventory and locations – all through your Square account.

Learn more about what else Square can do for your business at today..


How to accept credit card payments anywhere using your mobile phone

Square reader and Square was the very first reader to enter the space and you can see if you look at the picture here, itís a little dongle basically that plugs into your iPhone earbud port and you can swipe a credit card right through there and it will come up with an app on your phone. You can type in the amount of the transaction and process a transaction right then and there. So Square kind of launched this space about a year, year and a half ago. Since that time, a couple of competitors have come out. Intuit has come out with a service called GoPayment. You can see their dongle also fits right into the headphone jack of a mobile phone and you can see the app, how that works and they can even sign it right on the phone. Then a third one has come out called Pay Anywhere. The exact same philosophy that you can run a credit card transaction right from your mobile phone. So the three service providers are Squre, Go Payment and Pay Anywhere. Here is more about mobile payments from other providers.

Now another cool feature about these is that you donít have to have the credit card with you or that your customer doesnít have to have a credit card with them. If they know the number or if you happen to be ñ letís say youíre writing in your vehicle. Not driving. Very important. Youíre writing in your vehicle and you get a phone call from somebody and they want to buy a product or service from you right then and there. Great! Get their credit card number and you can key in their credit card information right there on your mobile phone and boom, their card is charged.

Transaction is processed and you can provide the product or service that they are looking to buy. So these are very, very cool solutions. If you go to a retail store, youíre used to running your card through a slot. Usually itís kind of a big machine and it has a printer attached to it. This is just basically the same thing, only itís very small. You can see with the Square, itís kind of a sexy-looking little square. The GoPayment is kind of a curved model. Itís very small, very lightweight. You can keep it in your briefcase, keep it in your glove box, whatever, and process credit cards that way. Now, of the three options, which one is best for you? Well, thatís a really, really good question. So what I did is I broke down the three options so that you can take a look at the differences on the two from a pricing standpoint mostly but also just a little bit from a services standpoint.

So letís just take a look at the screen real quick. You can see that Square has a no monthly fee and itís a percent charge if you swipe the card. If you key in the card, itís a percent transaction fee plus 15 cents. Now one thing about the Square is that it only works on iPhones, iPads and Androids. No monthly fee. GoPayment has two different options for your use. If youíre low volume and youíre doing less than $1000 a month, then they have a percent transaction fee for swiped payments and a percent transaction fee for keyed payments but they donít have that little 15 cents onto it and no monthly fee or if you know youíre going to be doing more than $1,000 a month on a regular basis, then it might make sense for you to go with their high volume account and that is a $a month fee but it lowers your transaction fees substantially by a whole point. percent for swiped and percent for non-swiped. So that might be pretty helpful for you if youíre doing some decent volumes. The other thing about the GoPayment is that it does work on BlackBerry so itís the only one of the three that does work on BlackBerry at this time.

So if you use a BlackBerry and youíre planning on using a BlackBerry for some time, GoPayment is probably your only option. If youíre on an iPhone, you can use any of them. The last one is Pay Anywhere and Pay Anywhere is also a no-monthly fee. Theyíre at percent of the transaction plus 19-cent transaction fee and percent if itís keyed in plus 19-cent transaction fee. So, mathematically, theyíre kind of close on the swiped with Square, actually with both of them. Theyíre very, very close. So what you want to look at, something else thatís very interesting on GoPayment is that if you use QuickBooks, GoPayment is actually built by Intuit and they have very good QuickBooks integration. So when you do your transaction, you can hit a button and it automatically integrates that transaction right into your QuickBooks which can be very, very helpful if you use that particular accounting platform to keep track of all your transactions. So there you have it. Those are the three main mobile payment providers, Square, GoPayment and Pay Anywhere. Iíve got my GoPayment unit on its way.

It should be here in the next couple of days and I will never again miss out on collecting a transaction immediately when Iíve got a customer standing there wanting to give me money. Now if you have used any of these payment providers and you have a story you would like to tell us, I would love for you to raise your hand and come on the line and tell us or if you have any questions about these payment providers, please let me know.


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