Good Thinking

Take credit card payments on your iPhone with Square

Take credit card payments on y...
View 6 Images
A copy of your receipt
A copy of your receipt
Photo verification
Photo verification
Sign here, please
Sign here, please
A copy for your records
A copy for your records

The proliferation of credit cards as a payment method preferred by millions of consumers has led to the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, creating Square – a credit card reader device that makes any mobile phone a cash register. Retailers can hook up the credit card reader to any device with an audio input jack, including a mobile phone. And consumers never have to worry about carrying cash again (well, almost).

The impetus for Square was an encounter Jim McKelvey (now a member of the Square team) had in February 2009 when he wasn’t able to sell his artwork because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Now that has changed with Square.

Swipe and pay

The device plugs into the audio input jack and immediately is ready to start taking payments, much easier and simpler than many other current methods, says Square. The system has an easy and intuitive interface and there are no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs (though no details of upfront costs just yet).

Retailers have the ability to create a Square payer account to speed up and secure every payment. For instance, on an iPhone payers can be linked with photo verification which lets retailers identify that the consumer is, indeed, the card holder. There’s also an opportunity for card holders who still prefer to sign for their payments, to do so on-screen.

Square says that it will let retailers know when you’re a repeat customer to get “frequent flier” status and credits.

As a payer, get your receipts sent to your email or mobile phone instantly and access them securely online. You can also use a text message to authorize every payment in real-time.

And Square claims it will donate a penny of every transaction to a cause of your choosing.

Currently, a limited beta version is being tested in the marketplace and rolling out is expected to everyone in early 2010. And, we assume, pricing details will be provided then, too.

Jack Dorsey's Square In Action

My first worry was my credit card getting swiped once by the restaurant to pay for my dinner, and twice by the server by their personal iPhone. I think I\'ll prefer to have my picture taken for verification, if that is how the app truly works. Security first, practicality second... and yes, the two can co-exist if the software is robust, and the developers think like a criminal. Cheers, Doc
I also think an obscure 90\'s company called \"H.E.R.O\" (Health Education Retirement Organization), holds the patent on \"rebates\" from credit card purchases that can go to either a savings account for the card-holder or a charity of their choice. I notice Square says they are donating one penny of each purchase to a charity, and they *may* (or may not!) also owe some royalties to the inventor/patent holder of this electronic process. The only reason I know this, is that I hold stock in that company, which has now gone under, but the patent holder (Gary Austin, inventor) still holds the rights, believe. Cheers, Doc Rings
Facebook User
I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone. -------- Credit Card Deals
Hey, I am Mark Peterson, I always read your blogs something everyday because I like your thought and I get many advice after read you article. I tell to my other friends about this site & its's blog. I hope you will read my this comment and you will remember me. i want you to always make new articles like this.I appreciate this.Thanks a lot. ============ Best Buy Finance mark01
Matt Bristow
A great idea any plan for a chip and PIN varient for use in Europe?
Facebook User
Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks ============ Credit Cards