Meet Square, the iPhone credit card processing device

By Derek Sooman on February 14, 2010, 5:23 AM
Ever since I was a little boy technology shows and technical magazines have carried articles about the death of cash. Whether it was Mondex, the smart card electronic cash system which was originally developed by National Westminster Bank in the UK or that cybernetic implant we were all meant to be getting in our hands that we could just swipe at tills to pay for things. I mean, there's been plenty of predications that notes and coins will vanish one day now we are in the information age.

Well whilst it’s unlikely that traditional money will completely disappear any time soon, the notion of paying for most things just using plastic might have come a lot closer with the introduction of Square - an iPhone credit card payment system that's the brainchild of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

Currently in public beta, Square (watch the video) is a nifty little iPhone add-on that lets anyone with an iPhone accept payments from a credit card. Basically, it’s the combination of an iPhone app and a small card-reader. Any individual can use the devices - you don't have to be a registered company or anything. All you need is the app, the dongle and an account. So if you say, owe me $1000 (which would be nice for me) all you would need to do is swipe your card into my iPhone and we’d be square, if you pardon the pun. Once customers have swiped or keyed in their credit card numbers, the phone allows them to write their signature using the touch screen to verify the purchase. What will an iPhone do next?

User Comments: 6

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That actually looks like a very useful app.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It indeed does, although this sounds a lot like japan where people use their phones as credit cards (Or at least I saw a news report about that) and they swipe it for example in the train station to pay for the tickets and so on.

Technosmurph said:

To see something like this in action watch the (canceled) ABC show "Defying Gravity"

TransFStella said:

An iPhone app that does the same exact thing for free is called the TransFS Credit Card Terminal App. It lets you use your iPhone as a terminal, same as above, but it doesn't lock you into a contract with a can use one of your own choosing (meaning it will be cheaper since you get to pick).

It's also open source, so much better for small business.

Feel free to download for free here:

Guest said:

Being in the credit card processing business for many years I can honestly say the sqaure is a waste of time. Rates are high (3%) and we offer a free application that you can use on many smartphones for free that cost less without a contract. There are also attachments that would allow that rate to go down even further by swiping the card.

Guest said:

anyone know how to get in on the beta test with square up?

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