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Traders Taking Credit Cards?

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It's more likely than you think.  Last year, while I was still grinding away in retail hell (also known as the Dragons Den) I encountered a problem.  I needed to accept credit cards, as any legitimate business would.  An inquiry at my bank left me deciding whether I'd rather use their CC processor or jab out my eyes with a rusty nail.  I've never been keen to play by the rules, so I looked for Option C.   Salvation came in the hands of one Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, and his new startup Square.

Square is pretty amazing software.  I say software because its hardware component is almost non-existent.  Once you sign up for Square (free, and takes approximately 20 seconds) and link up your bank account (equally painless; just check your online banking the next day and confirm the transaction amount), they mail you a credit card reader.  This reader would easily fit inside a dice bag or deck box.  It's tiny.  The software side runs on your smart phone or tablet - I used my iPhone and iPad - and the hardware hooks into the headphone jack.  From there on out, it operates like any other basic point-of-sale system.  You enter the transaction amount, they verify it, swipe their card, and use the touch screen to sign for the purchase with a fingertip.  The funds are deposited into your bank account within 24 hours. For larger transaction volumes, the game changes slightly, but the principle remains sound.

I immediately ditched my existing POS hardware and software and, after a bit of a learning curve, was using Square to take credit cards flawlessly.   Given that it works on a device as tiny as an iPhone, I'm surprised more traders haven't picked up on this.  The platform is secure and trusted by loads of businesses already, and the 2.75% fee is pretty reasonable.  Although you'll want to check with your venue of choice before doing this (we don't encourage sneaky under-the-table shenanigans here), this could really change the game when it comes to trading.   If you're a "destination" trader - the kind of guy people seek out when they need cards - you could easily blur the lines between trader and dealer.  As long as you have inventory on-hand, you can sell cards.  I try to maintain binders of 4x of each rare in Standard at all times.  Without having to inventory anything or use complicated software, I can pull out those binders and negotiate a deal for cash, right there and then, without any actual bills changing hands.

These guys just took it to the next level.  Reading this update on their services, I can't help but think just how useful this would be.  Imagine going to an MTG event where anyone could set up a table to buy, sell or trade for a nominal (<$100) fee.    A huge diaspora of micro-dealers would completely change market dynamics, and technology like this will help.  Just a little food for thought on a rainy Thursday afternoon!

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in QS Blogs

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4 thoughts on “Traders Taking Credit Cards?

  1. It is very interesting you wrote about this now. I purchased this a few weeks ago and was thrilled at how convenient it could make that exact situation. I love it and keep it in my bag all the time so I always have it with me. I feel like this is a huge game changer that allows the gap to be filled where finding value in a trade can't happen, but if they want to actually purchase all the better.

  2. Wow. Looks I have my excuse to upgrade my phone! What I save in eBay/PP fees, this would pay for itself. Not to mention a more secure way to move high end cards.

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