If you’ve ever been to an Apple store, you might have noticed there is no cash register and no check-out counter. Employees swipe your credit card on their iPod Touch and complete a transaction anywhere in the store.

Other businesses are learning how to do this too. The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Android app getting a lot of buzz lately is called “Square.” It includes a card swiping accessory that plugs into the headset/microphone jack of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The app is free, and each user who signs up gets a card reader; Square makes its money by charging 2.75 percent per transaction. The company is currently processing $3 million worth of transactions a day. More info at squareup.com.

“Swipe” is another app that turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into a credit card reader. Their app is 99 cents and they also toss in the card reader for free. They don’t put pricing info on their website, but we asked and they charge 1.74 percent per “qualified” card plus 24 cents per transaction and $25 a month for the service. The fee for a $100 purchase on a standard Visa, Mastercard or Discover card would be $1.98. More info at AppNinjas.com.

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