Ric Bretschneider

My thoughts in your brain…

Archive for March 2012

GoPayment Vs. Square – One More Thing, One Less Thing…

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I signed up for Intuit’s new GoPayment card system yesterday. Thought I’d share a few thoughts.

GoPayment is a way for regular folks to take credit card payments from other regular folks using your cell phone or tablet.  It’s advertised pretty much like the Square system, the first credit card device and service for regular folks. The major benefit is that it’s cheap, no monthly payment, and it has a cute device that plugs into the phono jack on you device that you use to swipe the card. Both GoPayment and Square charge a very low percentage per transaction (Are you listening PayPal?) lower than commercial rates, and no monthly fee.  GoPayment is so much like Square… well I haven’t seen any written description of it that hasn’t included a reference to Square. I’ve liked the Square system, but was curious about Intuit’s entry.  Given it was free, I figured what the heck, give it a try.

Intuit GoPayment System

Intuit GoPayment System

Haven’t got the reader yet, but already it’s coming across as a whole lot more in my face than Square.

I got a big follow-up annotated bill in e-mail this morning with a lot of line items and $0 due notations. Like that’s supposed to make me feel good? My first reaction was “WTF? A bill?” OK, maybe that’s just the three cups of morning coffee talking.

What really bugged me was GoPayment had this “hidden” credit card they issue you as a way to get your money. That wasn’t at all obvious until I got the confirmation that I’d ge getting the card in the mail.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need or want another credit card.  Not for SkyMiles, not for Dinner Credits, not for an additional 5% off on my purchases. It’s already hard enough to track my intentional spending, and if I was the victim of identity theft I want to make as few calls as possible if it becomes necessary to shut things down. So I try not to have a lot of credit cards, especially specialty cards.

Square and Devices

Both systems work across all major smartphone devices, but Square hires a better photographer for their ads.

Of course,  after a call to their customer service, it turns out I don’t have to use or keep the card. I kept saying things like “So when I get the card in the mail, I can destroy it immediately and not have that affect my GoPayment account?”  The guy was a bit unnerved about that, suggesting I activate the card first, then call in to terminate it.  Um.  Yeah.  That makes sense.

You can still get the money transferred to one of your accounts, just like Square does, but they default to using the rechargeable credit card.  But how many people are really going to rebel like me? So many just accept that “well this is the package, guess I’ve got a new card to monitor.”  And we all know that terms on cards can change when the bank thinks it’s not getting enough profit on your business. Right? It’s just another thing to monitor, reading all the bland, poisonous notes in the monthly statements. And I hate that.

If I was going to devil’s advocate their design decision here I’d guess they found that most people were unable to complete their process if it required the banking codes necessary to do the direct deposit dance. Issuing a credit card was much easier, just requiring an address, social security number, and a couple of additional personal data chunks. Probably, but that’s a big part of what’s wrong with the credit industry in general. I’m not going to dig in on that speculation, it’s not the real devil that I think is in play here.

I’ll probably give it a whirl when it arrives, but I expect I’ll be dumping this. Square stays silent until I use it. So far it hasn’t tried to sign me up or send my info along to other companies. I’m not feeling the same warm fuzzy about Intuit.

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Written by ricbret

March 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm