Griffin appears to be the first to offer an iPhone 5/5s case that includes a Square Reader. Small business owners and groups who use Square and the Square Reader to take credit card payments usually love it. We use it in our Mac Users Group (MUG) CapMac and it allows us to accept credit card payments for dues, donations, and t-shirts.
The app for the Square reader requires iOS 6.0 or later. Square offers us a low fee, no minimum monthly dollar requirements, and the money is deposited directly into our group bank account. So our group loves it, except for one thing. It is hard to keep up with the Square Reader which attaches to your iPhone or iPad using the headphone jack. The reader is only one inch by one inch square. In our case, we had to purchase extra readers to make sure we always have one when needed.
The new Merchant Case + Square Reader includes both a reader and a place to store it when not in use.
Back view of Merchant Case + Square Reader
The case is custom-molded and is designed to reduce wear on the iPhone headphone jack. The case design includes a grove in the bottom of the case that aligns the reader and prevents it from turning.
I wondered about the oversize aperture for the iPhone's camera and flash. The Griffin representative said that it was designed that way to visually mimic the square reader itself.
Front view of Merchant Case + Square Reader
The case is made from molded silicone. It is very flexible and easy to grip. It is also easy to insert or remove the iPhone. The inside of the case is criss-crossed with half-inch squares that are about one half-inch deep. This design provides a cushion that offers added protection.
Inside view of Merchant Case + Square Reader
The Merchant Case + Square Reader has an MSRP of US$19.99. It is only available in the U.S. and Canada and has a one year warranty.
Using The Product
It is easy to insert and remove the iPhone from the case, and it's easy to insert and remove the Square Reader while the iPhone is wearing the case. The case is one half-inch thick and it includes a lip over the front of the phone. It is very easy to grip.
Although it is easy to remove or insert the reader from the case's storage compartment (thanks to the small ears for the fingers to fit in), it is held firmly in place when not in use. I found it to be extremely useful to have that place for storing the reader that did not require a frustrating search every time I wanted to use it.
Do I Recommend It?
I do. It is a great solution for an existing problem that most Square users face. With the Square Reader included as part of the case someone who is new to Square can sign up for the service online and be ready to use it as soon as the banking stuff is set up. The case is sturdy and provides good protection. It is also easy to grip which is important when using the reader.