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?