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Bottom Line: The Merchant Case + Square Reader is a clever way to keep a Square Reader close while simultaneously protecting one’s phone.
Griffin Technology’s Square Reader is a nifty little device that allows users to process credit card payments from their phone, which is ideal for small businesses or services that otherwise don’t normally require a storefront or cash register. The Merchant Case does one better by providing users with an iPhone case that’s been designed specifically to integrate with the little gizmo. It’s surprisingly clever in its simplicity, really.
The Merchant Case is made of a fairly durable silicon that’s similar to what can be found in many other iPhone cases. What’s interesting about this one is the way it’s moulded. The case is thicker in the back, with a spot made specifically for users to tuck their Square Reader away for safe keeping. This ensures that they’ll not only be able to keep their phone protected, but that they’ll also always have their reader on-hand whenever they might need it - no fumbling around in a pocket, purse, backpack, briefcase, etc ever again!
It’s not just a rubbery case with a spot to tuck a credit card dongle, though. The bottom has been shaped so that the Square Reader can be easily and securely popped in without the need to remove or reposition the case. There’s even a small groove along the bottom meant to help line up cards as they’re swiped. It’s an incredibly good fit for Square users who don’t want to worry about always keeping tabs on their reader or would like to be able to swipe cards with a little added stability.
There are a couple of issues I came across while using the Merchant Case, however. First and foremost, the combination of the slightly larger size in the back and the bottom coupled with the grip of the silicon means fishing one’s phone out of a pocket can be a pain more often than not. It also seemed like the extra material along the bottom of the case would occasionally affect the microphone’s ability to pick up my voice when on a call. It’s nothing talking a little louder or holding the phone a little closer to my face didn’t fix, but it’s something to be aware of.
Really though, the Merchant Case + Square Reader is kind of a no-brainer for Square users. It’s durable, convenient, and even makes using the reader itself easier. Anyone who wants to use their iPhone to process credit card payments should definitely check it out.