Alternative Payment Options: Dwolla, Intuit and Square, Oh My!

posted 5/28/2013 in General

Though the weather has been a little crazy and slow trying to get here, we are nearing summer and all of the farmer's markets, fairs and craft shows that come with it. If you and your family love to go to these types of events, you know that before you go you need to withdraw cash. Or do you?

Be prepared to see this type of payment device in the near future.

As smart phone and tablet technology has progressed and become mainstream, credit card and financial companies have developed ways for merchants to take credit card payments while selling corn on the side of the road. These devices and apps bring convenience to merchants looking to accept as many forms of payment as possible away from their "brick and mortar" location.
Let's take a look at three of the most popular payment devices and programs that you may encounter this summer: Square, Intuit and Dwolla.
Square- this nifty little square (simple name for a simple product) plugs into Apple or Android devices and allows merchants to swipe credit cards and receive payment on the spot. The accompanying software allows, let's say, a coffee shop owner to essentially put their menu and prices into the system so that employees can easily select and item, just like a normal register. The software also tracks purchases. With an advanced auditing system that prevents fraud and industry standards in encrypting and securing information, consumers can have their minds at ease when paying a merchant using Square.
Intuit- similar to Square, the Intuit card reader and app can be used on Apple and Android devices. Merchants can either swipe or key in the credit card number, then have customers "sign" for their purchase. Intuit also allows merchants to easily add their "menu" for quick and easy orders and tracking. Security is also top-notch with Intuit. It uses a 128-bit encryption and never stores credit cards numbers, so you sensitive data is kept secure.
Dwolla- this option differs from Square and Intuit in that there is no card reader, and also that it can be used for personal finances as well as for business. Owe your friend money? You can send it to them through Dwolla. Need to make a purchase at sandwich shop that accepts Dwolla? Do it from your iPhone or Android. Besides its amazing flexibility and pricing, Dwolla is also extremely secure. Unlike credit cards or checks, the only information out in the open when using Dwolla is your phone number, email address or unique Dwolla ID.
Providing convenience and security, these three options appear to be safe to use for consumers that are concerned about fraud. If you're concerned about a purchase, you can also login to your Lincoln SavingsBank Online Banking account to keep an eye on your balance.
We are all looking forward to the summer, and hope that everyone has fun and stays safe in the coming months!
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