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How Square Is Helping Businesses Save on Transaction Fees

Forget clunky credit-card processing systems -- all you need is a smartphone and a new device to cut card-processing expenses.

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This story appears in the June 2011 issue of Start Up.

American consumers conduct 20 billion credit card transactions each year, totaling $1.9 trillion in annual spending--numbers too eye-popping for any merchant to ignore. Yet while shoppers love the convenience of plastic, credit cards are anything but convenient for small businesses. Transaction fees can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month, dramatically reducing profit margins in the process.

Actually, traditional card processing isn't an ideal option for many types of businesses--food trucks, for example--which translates into any number of missed sales opportunities.

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