Technology moves in leaps and strides. Just a few decades ago, most people had never heard of credit cards: carrying around tonnes of cash was essential. Now it’s hard to imagine our lives without those little pieces of plastic that make life so much easier. Just today I stumbled upon a new company that allows the iPhone to accept credit card payments with the help of a little gizmo attached to the audio jack. The device scans the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card for payments wherever and whenever.
The small company, Square are obviously off to set the flames for a small revolution. And it’s no wonder; the iPhone is already used in the place of clipboards in many hospitals all over the world and Apple are in the throws of rolling out iPod touch-based EasyPay systems in all of its stores. Now business is headed to mobile credit card terminals.
Along with the credit card reader attachment, Square offer a service to help you manage payments. As you can see, there are many features thrown in:
- Start accepting payment cards immediately with Square. No contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. Effortlessly manage all the money you take with an easy and intuitive interface.
- Create a Square payer account to speed up and secure every payment. With photo verification, Square users can visually confirm you are the card holder.
- Read payment cards from any device with an audio input jack, including your mobile phone. Accepting payments has never been faster or more convenient.
- If you frequent a place that accepts Square, we’ll let them know you’re a repeat customer. That 10th cappuccino may be on the house, no paper coffee card required.
- 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.
- Square will donate a penny of every transaction you take to a cause of your choice. Working together to better the world, one small step at a time.
And while this sounds really good in many ways, I feel there are a lot of issues with such a service. For one thing, with the amount of iPhones and other devices swirling about, wouldn’t it be really easy for persons of low moral fibre to take advantage of a little hot credit? Just imagine, you borrow a friends credit card for a second and charge him a couple of hundred bucks while he’s not looking? Or when you give your card to that waiter at your local diner, how can you be sure that he won’t take an extra payment from you (especially if you didn’t tip him ) Hopefully Square have something in mind to protect us casual folks from this. Meanwhile, the future pushes on. Viva la revolucion!