At Fantastic Fest, I was able to speak with Mo Shafeek, general manager of Mondo, an Austin-based art boutique that creates original art and t-shirts based on all kinds of geek-friendly movies and TV shows. They’re enormously popular, often dealing with massive lines of people wanting to buy their merchandise, but they handle all of their sales with an iPad and the Square mobile payment app. I stole a few minutes of Mo’s time to ask about Square and why they use it in their gallery instead of a more traditional system.
What brought you to Square for your gallery?
Having a a merchant service credit card machine is sort of a pain in the ass these days, especially for us since we move around quite a bit. Our gallery is stationary, but we go to tons of screening events or comic book conventions and all of these different places, so we need our merchant service to come with us wherever we go. I used to tour manage a few years ago, and back then, there was nothing like Square and once it came out, it was a no-brainer. Now, PayPal is putting out their own version and Intuit is putting out their own version, but Square has been a godsend for how mobile we are.
Did you ever consider using any other mobile payment systems?
PayPal initially seems like it would make the most sense since our online payment service is through them, but I hear it’s buggy and doesn’t have a great interface. Square’s interface is perfect for us since we have so many different kinds of products. Having it all laid out for us and being able to plug in something new on the fly and sell it…the user interface is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Plus, we’re all Apple junkies, so being able to use the iPad is great.
Do you foresee a future where small and large businesses abandon traditional payment systems altogether and switch to Square?
I think that once Square becomes more viable, traditional set-ups will have to start competing by lowering their percentage rates. That’s my one concern for Square. If they can compete with lowered rates, they’ll be fine. I think they’re going to be a serious contender in this field.