Cool to Be Square in College Town

Whether it is at the salon, the diner or out with friends, Square is changing the way college students transact. And it is allowing some businesses in the small college town of Hillsdale, Michigan to escape traditional credit card contracts, ultimately increasing their transactions from students.

Square is the app that makes payments as simple as a swipe, click, or signature on your phone.

“Much of our business is attributed to the college, students, faculty and staff. So something like Square is perfect for a local entrepreneur. Especially as it applies to college students, who are always paying with their parents’ credit card,” says Mary Wolfram , the director of Economic Development for the city of Hillsdale, Michigan.

A local beauty salon recently made their switch to Square.

“It benefits our business because we can do an event outside of the salon… Also you don’t have to worry about getting hit with a big charge at the end of the month because the fees are taken out automatically. It is PCI compliant, so we don’t have to take a test every year and pay a huge fee, usually between $75 and $100,” says Jen Way, the owner of Attitudes Salon in Michigan.

Square charges its customer a 2.75% fee on each transaction. The company collects no annual, monthly or startup fees from users.

“The reason we inquired about Square is because of the college kid. They don’t carry cash at all. So this helps a lot by using a credit and debit card. It has increased our business … over a one-year period by over 40%,” says The Coffee Cup shop owner Pai Ringenberg.

The app is even being used to plan Spring Break.

“I just grab my phone and open up my Square register, plug it in, and type in the amount I am charging. Then it is ready to go. A lot of my friends went on a trip last spring break to North Carolina. I was booking the house, planning the whole thing, and I basically got to pay for it on my credit card and then have all of my friends pay me back over time,” says college senior Whittaker Dunn.