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Austin Food Trailer takes Credit on iPad

19 May 2010 2,760 views 9 Comments

Last week, I wrote a post on a blog I contribute to at work called “Square: POS in the Palm of your Hand.” Square was created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack), and it allows anyone to easily and cheaply take payment by credit card.

This is the Square card reader that connects to the wireless device.

This is the Square card reader that connects to the wireless device.

Jae Kim, owner of an Austin mobile food trailer, Chi’Lantro BBQ, began accepting credit cards from customers when he became one of the first local businesses to use Square in early May. When I asked him why he decided to use Square, he said:

“After researching a lot of options, I was attracted to Square because there’s no contract, no monthly fees, and it’s convenient. The transaction fees are competitive, and no software purchase is needed.”

chilantro bus

Chilantro at one of it's frequent locations on 2nd and Congress

Kim says that many Chi’Lantro customers asked for the option to pay by credit since opening for business earlier this year.

“We listened to them. When customers are happy, we are happy,” Kim said. “We are mobile, and we can take the 3G iPad anywhere and everywhere at any time. Our customers think it’s cool that we use iPad to accept credit cards.”

Chi’Lantro spread the word that they are now accepting credit cards viaTwitter and Facebook. One customer that follows the business on Twitter wrote: “you guys have the best use for an iPad I’ve seen yet!”

Allen, a Chi'Lantro customer, pays using Square on the iPad

Allen, a Chi'Lantro customer, pays using Square on the iPad

Kim says that some people have stopped by the trailer  just to check out Square in action on the iPad.

“Many are intrigued by using iPad to pay for their meal. A lot of customers are excited to hold the iPad for the first time and sign the receipt with their finger,” Kim said.

The Square device is free and the app is available on both iPhone and Android operating systems.

Would you feel comfortable paying through Square on a mobile device? What are some other uses of it that you think would be cool?

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  • http://detroit.fwix.com Jamie Favreau

    I think it is a cool device and to see it actually being used is a plus.

    I would be worried someone would walk off with the ipad or iphone or something. People in groups are not the smartest at times.

  • http://detroit.fwix.com Jamie Favreau

    I think it is a cool device and to see it actually being used is a plus.

    I would be worried someone would walk off with the ipad or iphone or something. People in groups are not the smartest at times.

  • Sherill

    What a great use of the iPad….can we get an e-receipt on our iPhone?

  • jodibart

    Jamie: That is such a good point…especially since this particular truck is open until 2 or 3 in the morning serving the late-night drunk set. I wonder if they have a way to tie it down to ensure safety. I'll have to ask Jae about that.

    Sherill: You do get an e-mail receipt to whatever account you use. Here is a picture on another post I wrote about Square (yes, I'm fascinated by it – no I have no relationship to the company or the product): http://mobilisms.com/square-pos-in-the-palm-of-

  • jodibart

    Jamie: That is such a good point…especially since this particular truck is open until 2 or 3 in the morning serving the late-night drunk set. I wonder if they have a way to tie it down to ensure safety. I'll have to ask Jae about that.

    Sherill: You do get an e-mail receipt to whatever account you use. Here is a picture on another post I wrote about Square (yes, I'm fascinated by it – no I have no relationship to the company or the product): http://mobilisms.com/square-pos-in-the-palm-of-

  • HP

    I thought using an iPad to pay by credit card was pretty cool, but a $2 charge (which is against Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express’s rules by the way) is pretty uncool.

  • Dexterouscerebrum

    They were using these at the renegade craft fair this year. It's pretty awesome. You don't have to worry about someone stealing the ipad, because you don't actually have to hand someone the ipad, you take the customer's card and swipe it yourself just like any credit card machine in a trailer. The people at the craft fair did show us the receipt to confirm the order but they were just being nice and the ipad never left their hands.

  • Dexterouscerebrum

    They were using these at the renegade craft fair this year. It's pretty awesome. You don't have to worry about someone stealing the ipad, because you don't actually have to hand someone the ipad, you take the customer's card and swipe it yourself just like any credit card machine in a trailer. The people at the craft fair did show us the receipt to confirm the order but they were just being nice and the ipad never left their hands.

  • Dexterouscerebrum

    They were using these at the renegade craft fair this year. It's pretty awesome. You don't have to worry about someone stealing the ipad, because you don't actually have to hand someone the ipad, you take the customer's card and swipe it yourself just like any credit card machine in a trailer. The people at the craft fair did show us the receipt to confirm the order but they were just being nice and the ipad never left their hands.