Square Makes Credit Card Payments Mobile
Posted by Shannon Suetos on February 2, 2010 in Business Technology [ 2 Comments ]
Having your company be able to accept credit cards is extremely beneficial. Mainly for the convenience it gives your customers–but what if you are a freelance artist? Or you’re a street vendor? Well thanks to Square, a device that can hook up to an audio jack, it allows you to accept credit cards through many different electronic devices including iPhones, BlackBerrys and desktop computers.
Started by Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square will be making credit card processing a little easier for the average Joe. In an interview Dorsey had with Nick Bilton of the New York Times, Dorsey says, “The goal is to build another utility like Twitter that will scale to any kind of usage. Anywhere from coffee shops or clothing retail stores, to someone selling their couch on Craigslist, or getting paid back from a friend.”
If you are worried about your credit card information being stored on someone’s iPhone or BlackBerry, don’t be. When your card gets swiped, the information goes directly to the Square server, not the vendor’s cell phone. The receipt can be sent to your email or cell phone instantly and you can also access them securely online. Another great feature is you can use a text message to authorize every payment in real-time.
The cost for Square hardware is also a great allure to the new technology–it is free. According to Dorsey, “We’re going to be giving the Squares away free on our Web site. Some stores will sell them, but mostly we’ll be giving them away.”
Because Square is so new (its beta version launched in Dec. 2009) it’s hard to tell how this new addition to the credit card processing service will be hailed. Some people are skeptical that it will catch on. Andy Kleitsch, the CEO of Billing Revolution, believes that merchants who use Square might not, “qualify for accounts with traditional credit card processors because they would be deemed ‘high risk’ by these companies,” which, in Kleitsch’s opinion is the wrong type of customer base.
Dorsey seemed to hit the nail on the head with Twitter, so we will have to wait and see how this new venture goes. The concept itself seems very useful and a great alternative to the small business owner and entrepreneur.