This post was updated by a community moderator on March 24, 2020 to reflect app improvements and feature enhancements.
Nothing in this article is meant to be construed as medical advice. If you have questions about your health, please consult a doctor.
Most of us have seen the headlines about the spread of the Coronavirus within North America and across the globe. We're posting to give a heads up to our buyers and sellers on some preemptive measures that you can take to be prepared.
Each of our sellers are unique and have different business needs. If your business requires you to work closely with large amounts of people, these general tips may help you reduce exposure to Coronavirus, not to mention they'll ensure that you know about all payment options available with your Point of Sale account.
- If you or your teammates feel under the weather, communicate with your employees to help them make arrangements to stay at home. Your body needs time and rest to recuperate, so you can come back strong and healthy. 💪
- Wash your hands frequently, be careful to not touch your face, and keep hand sanitizer available in your business where practical. 🧼
- Keep your mobile devices and other frequently touched equipment clean. For comprehensive guides on how to clean mobile devices, consider these articles:
► How to clean your Apple products 🖥
► Clean Smudges from the Screen on Your Chromebook Pro 💻
► How to clean your phone to help stop the spread of germs📱
☝A note about Square Stand + iPad: If you have a screen protector on your iPad, rest assured that Square apps will continue to work well with that added layer. In addition, Square Stand's iPad cradle is flush with the edges of the iPad itself, which will ensure an unobstructed fit.
Alternative Payment Methods and Strategies:
- Contactless "tap" payments. Encourage your customers to use their mobile devices or contactless cards to complete payment (see an example in the picture above). With Square, you can accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other forms of payment where you do not need to pass cash or credit cards back and forth. For a quick video demonstration, have a look here: Accept Payments with the Contactless + Chip Reader.
- Signatures and receipts. Card Providers don’t require signatures for Dip, Tap and Swipe payments in the US and Canada. Consider setting the signature requirement to Never Collect Signature and skipping the receipt screen. This will help reduce the need for your customers to touch the payment screen. Have a look at step-by-steps on how to change these settings below:
► Disable Signatures for Square App Payments
► Skip the Receipt Screen to Speed Up Checkout
- Square Invoices and remote payments. If you can work from home, you can collect payments from your customers by using Square Invoices, Virtual Terminal, or manually keying in your customer's card information by taking orders over the phone.
- Square Online Store. If you haven't already, now may be a great time to set up a free Square Online Store, which will allow your customers to place orders themselves. Local customers can arrange to pick-up, deliver locally, and we've also partnered with a number of fulfillment services who can help you manage shipments. Learn more:
► How to Sell Online and Allow for Pickup Orders
► Square Online Store: Turn on Curbside Pickup
► Square Online Store: Turn on Local Delivery
- Get creative! Canceled sales event or trade show? Take it online via social media and use a hashtag or Instagram story to create a virtual event with your customers. You can then use one of Square's many remote payment options to keep your business running. Need some inspiration? The examples in this article may spark your imagination: 8 Instagram Event Marketing Ideas That Drive Record Registrations.
Knowledge is power: Keep a pulse on potential risks with the World Health Organization's website: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public.
For more general resources on preparing for the unexpected, have a look at these resources:
- Small Business Emergency & Natural Disaster Preparedness
- 4 Resources To Help You Create a Safe Workplace
Let's keep looking out for each other and staying healthy. ❤️️ If any other questions come up, or if you have any pro tips to share—let us know in the comments below! ⬇️
We're keeping a close eye on this issue and this material has been prepared for informational purposes only.
Love this! Thanks so much for putting this together and sharing!
We just wish there were hands-free ways to run loyalty - still a lot of taps to tap there
Can a screen protector on the iPad work (not sure if it will fit into the Square stand with a protective overlay) -- then an alcohol wipe wouldn't damage touchscreen? or use apple pen and keep THAT wiped with disinfecting cloth?
Thanks for bringing this up, @Hommelson!
Yes, your iPad will fit into Square Stand with a protective screen overlay. The iPad cradle is flush with the outer edges of the iPad itself. ✅
In addition, I checked with our Hardware team to confirm that our apps will work well with a screen protector. If you'd like an added shield for your mobile device as you perform cleaning enhancements, feel free to go with screen protection.
As for your question about a stylus, it may depend on your business setup. For example, if you're at a kiosk/checkout counter and unable to secure it—there may be a chance it could get lost. When I worked at a bookstore before touch screens were commonplace, our pens for receipt signatures always seemed to "walk away" one way or another.
Keep in touch and let me know how it's going.
I believe standard precautions are in order as with any virus season.
Maybe hand sanitizer on your counter...antibacterial wipes to wipe the counter etc.
Be proactive without panic. We haven’t really seen a decrease in people out and about in our area other then huge events being rescheduled or canceled for now.
This too shall pass❤️
I sent invoices to students for classes during an event that has now been cancelled. For those that paid, I have offered the choice of a refund (I know how to do that) or to hold on to the payment until the classes are rescheduled. Some have chosen to wait for the rescheduled class. I'd LIKE to find a way to re-send their paid invoice with that note so that BOTH the student and I have it in writing and I have a traceable reminder. I can't find any way to do that...any suggestions?
Hi @Kippian. You should be able to search through your paid invoices by the student's name to find their invoice. If you click on the "share" button, you can copy that link and send it to them via email.
Let us know if you have trouble!
Beta Community Manager, Square
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Thanks, they have already paid and the paid notice was sent. I have emailed all of them and many have asked that I hold the payment until the class can be rescheduled. What I wanted to do was make a notation that the payment is being held and resend it. Should I just change the wording in the NOTES to indicate this and then share it? Is that what you are suggesting?
@Kippian If the invoice has already been paid, you wouldn't be able to resend that paid invoice with a specific note, because there's not a way to add a note to an invoice after it's been paid. You would have to include that note in the original invoice before you send it out (but with the situation you're in it sounds like there's no way to know).
You could make a note under each customer profile in your directory as a workaround. That way, you're able to export those notes and see who wants their payments held or not.
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Yes, thank you. That is what I have done and just sent an email stating that to my customers so they can feel secure about their payment as we move forward.
So when this started, we came up with a couple of contingency plans if/when we see sales drop and panic rise:
1. Switching to Window Service Only and not inside our store
2. Begrudgingly going back onto the Delivery services (UberEats, Grubhub, etc.) and raising the prices on there to make up for the insanely high percentage that they take.
So far we've seen no dip in sales - on the contrary, we're busier than ever for this opening week, and almost too busy!
Last week, out of all the customers we've had, only 1 person came in with a mask on, and one mother was spraying essential oils all over our tables & stools inside.
In the past few days, more people were getting a little more cautious - standing further apart from each other in line, wiping down tables & chairs with their own wipes, and asking us some deeper questions about what we do to clean.
So this morning, we enacted Phase 1, and switched over to just Window Service with our Outdoor Tables & Chairs.
I only did a couple of Social Media Posts about it - we decided not to send out an email or anything, since I personally have gotten 20+ emails from companies, basically saying the same type of thing, and I'm basically blind to them at this point.
And so far so good! We wish it was a little bit warmer, but customers aren't complaining too much, so that's a good thing!
We had to shift some things around, setting up a napkin dispenser outside, updating our outdoor menu board with some extra signage, but all good!
Hopefully our numbers still don't drop so we won't have to do the delivery services which we are not big fans of because of issues we've had in the past! So far so good!
Thanks for the continually updating resources!
So now the call from the Tri-State Area is Takeout & Delivery only as of tonight/tomorrow - so we're still good with window service it seems, I think we just have to take away the outdoor tables & chairs. There's no real details out there, so it's hard to tell exactly what is needed.
Hopefully our sales stay up, but I started doing research on the Delivery apps in case we need to jump on them.
We're definitely looking at ones that integrate with the Square Orders so we don't need separate iPads & training for our Employees
It looks like Postmates has an easy integration with Square, so that would probably be the first one we use.
It looks like DoorDash's integration is in beta and there's a waiting list, so we're not sure exactly how that would work.
UberEATS integrates to Square through Chowly, but it looks like Chowly costs around $80 a month, so I'm not sure if we want to do that yet.
And it looks like Chowly no longer integrates with Grubhub, so I'm not sure about that either.
Any guidance on any of this would be greatly appreciated!
Hope everyone else out there is not only staying healthy, but finding ways to keep their business going!
Let me know if there's anything I can do to help anyone!
Here's another update for yall:
So we added in a few more precautions to slow the spread at our shop.
We're now packing up every single item with covers & into bags, so things are really takeout, and we don't risk unwanted contact. This also means no more ice cream in cones (we'll pack empty cones in a bag though!) and no more tastes unfortunately. While we generally always placed a cup on the counter for a customer to take, rather than passing it over - it's so easy for a customer to accidentally touch our hands while passing over a cone a spoonful for a taste, so we're nixing it all for now.
Now any time a customer pays with cash, first we say that we prefer them use a card if they can to reduce risk, but if they still want to pay with cash, our employee first puts on gloves to handle the cash, and then immediately throws out the glove. It's a bit of a pain, but cash is supposedly a high risk point, we we're doing our best to reduce that risk, especially because it's impossible to wash our hands after every single time we handle cash.
For customer's use of the touchpad, we've already turned off the signature requirement, but since we use Loyalty, there's no real way to prevent customers from having to touch the screen. Luckily we use the Register, so the customers touch a separate screen and not the same screen our customers use. But to combat the risk of customer infecting each other, we now offer them a glove to use to type in their info on the customer display. Some people use them, others don't, but at least we're offering and combatting that risk, in between sanitizing the screen with those little individually wrapped alcohol wipes.
So those are our latest steps - some are an inconvenience, but it's better to take these steps that can be a pain than to have to close down, so we're thankful we get to stay open.
We still haven't had sales drop down to a point that we need to start delivery, but we're keeping it in mind, doing the research, and getting ready for it in case we do. In another thread I found out that DoorDash and Postmates integrate with Square's Orders platform so all orders will come through the POS, which is wonderful, so those will probably be the platforms we try out if we have to.
Thanks for the help, and let me know if there's anyway I can help too!
Would Square consider temporarily reducing the invoice processing fee to match the contact chip present processing fees, due to the need of customers wanting to pay online instead of in the store? We want to offer curbside/contactless delivery, but the additional Square charges means we would shoulder the burden. If it doesn’t cost square more to process, it would be great to offer this to us who are trying to still provide services to those in our neighborhood.
I'm in PA and we are currently switching to just online sales. Our state strongly urged all non essential businesses to shut down. This is going to be a wild ride but we are planning some online live sales, and posting items online and curbside pickup. When times get tough the tough get creative
It would be great for Square to support you by not charging you the online fee for doing this. If we’re going to stay open we won’t have a choice but to have contactless sales.