Beware of merchants using Squareup
Update June 2012: I have started getting Square receipts with the type of card and the last four digits. See, Square, wasn't that easy?
I hate to post this because I think it is wonderful new technology for small merchants to be able to swipe credit cards and handle the transactions through their cellphones.
But if you are a business traveler, beware. As these little white square attachments start sprouting from cellphones, etc., you'd better check with your accounting department on whether it will accept the receipts you are emailed or texted.
Many remain skittish about email receipts (possibility they can be easily forged). But the one I got today from a merchant using Squareup is likely to pose a special problem. While it is a visual receipt, not just a text-only email, it merely lists "item" without any details, and it does not detail which credit card was used (only the generic Visa). This can be a special problem for travelers who might have multiple cards for various reasons.
Here, for instance, is what a typical receipt looks like.
If the merchant is using an iPad, there is the option to print a true receipt. But many, like cabs, use cellphones, and they don't invest in a printer (the point being to save money, right?). If not, email is all you get. So then you have to wait till it posts to your Visa account (assuming you have access to that account), print out the record, etc. If it's a corporate account, how willing do you think accounting is going to be to check dozens and maybe hundreds of these things (as they become more common) against the corporate account, especially since there are no account or reference numbers?
I also take a bit of exception to the preset "tip" percentages at the bottom of each screen with no way, that I saw, to enter your own (other than "no tip").
So caveat emptor.
(I've often wondered why companies like this don't have a feedback mechanism on their websites, since the customer, not the vendor, is the ultimate word-of-mouth promotion for something like this. As a result, I sent my feedback through the website's "press" email. I'd encourage others to do the same. firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Here's a review of the company (officially called "Square"). Generally good, but some problems.
Update 4/1: After some extensive back and forth with Square's help desk - and kudos to the desk for continuing to talk with me about the options and take suggestions - there may be a way to get a detailed image of your receipt. Unfortunately, it is not obvious, and it may be off-putting to some: Sign up for a Square account, even though it might seem those are only for merchants.
Almost Everything on Square's website (except the Pay with Square link) as of this post is merchant-facing, so the fact that you as a consumer can do this is not overly obvious. If you sign up for an account, you will be asked seemingly merchant-type questions for security. This includes the last four digits of your Social Security number. Square apparently uses all this information to dig into databases (credit reports?) and identify you. It will come back with a screen with those details, you confirm them, etc. You will be asked to click to have a Square card reader sent to you. You can ignore that and, after all that, you will have an account. One of the links in that account is "Receipts." I haven't run into a Square-enabled merchant since doing this, so I can't tell you how well it works.
I've suggested that Square engineer a consumer-facing link that skips most of that stuff and allows people to clearly sign up for an account to access their receipts. In addition, if Square had a big "convert" button in that account, then once it had me as a consumer, if I decided to start a small business, etc., it might well have me as a merchant customer (remembering that the demographic likely to use this for receipts is also the one that has the resources in both time, money and education, to do just that).