New Devices Making Credit Card Transactions Paperless

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COLUMBIA - Corby Roberts owns small business "Blade Runner," a culinary sharpening business. Roberts uses a new device to help his company grow and make his customers happy.

Roberts uses a device called Square to swipe credit and debit cards when customers want to pay without using cash.

"It's just one more thing that makes it easier for customers, and you know, anything that is easier for a customer is good for us," Roberts said.

Square attaches to the audio jack on iPads and iPhones. Once attached, the user can activate the Square by downloading an app onto the tablet or phone. A transaction is then completed with the swipe of a card through the Square. Once the transaction is finished, the customer has the option to receive the receipt via email or text.

Roberts runs his culinary sharpening business out of a truck. A good amount of his customers are restaurants that have multiple knifes sharpened within one order. Roberts said orders can add up, so it's easier to have the option to use a credit or debit card to pay. Before Roberts had Square, he said it was more difficult to receive the pay up front from restaurants that have larger orders of knifes to be sharpened.

"We have orders that range anywhere from $4.50 on up to $100, so if you get a customer that's got a $90 order, then it's a lot easier for them to give you a credit card than to bring $90 in cash," Roberts said.

"I think for small businesses it's a great thing, especially for a mobile business like mine," Roberts said.

But with new technology like Square, it's important consumers keep cards safe. Experts said it's important to check the receipt as soon as it is sent to make sure charges were accurate.

"It all falls back on the customer," David Whelan vice president of Commerce Bank, said. "So, really, follow up on the purchases looking at your statements, look at your account history to make sure those purchases are yours."

Whelan said any bank will help, as long as there is a record of the credit or debit card history and the consumer reports any activity on the card that is not legitimate within the allotted time to deal with potential frauds.

Whelan said it's important to communicate with your bank to learn how it deals with fraud issues.

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