Square & SchoolAuction.net, Pt. 1

17 Aug 2012 By Roger Devine

Square has been a disruptive force in the merchant-processing business since its emergence a couple of years ago. And since you can use just about any merchant-processor you wish with the SchoolAuction.net software, we’ve been asked about whether our customers can and should use it. The answer is a definite “maybe”.

It is certainly possible to use Square alongside SchoolAuction.net - checking guests out in the software, and then running their credit card through the Square swiper sitting on top of an iPhone to process the transaction. We do have customers who have used it in this way, and they’ve never told us it was a problem.

But you cannot connect our software (or any web-based software) directly to the Square gateway; they don’t allow it and have not announced any intention to do so. So there are a few features of our software that you cannot use Square with:

  • online registration
  • online-auction payments
  • online donations

And, most significantly:

  • swiping guest cards at check-in, to enable you to process payment for their contributions without having to stand in a check-out line.

We tend to think that being able to take advantage of these features makes getting a general-purpose merchant account worth the additional hassle, but we certainly don’t require it. And should you think that Square is the right option for you, we even have a special annual plan (the Starter - Gala plan) that is a bit less expensive.