In Genbeta, my colleague Esteban Saiz already told us about this project that Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of the quintessential microblogging service, Twitter, was preparing. Now this project has already become a reality, and we can begin to see Square, the new payment system using the iPhone.
Basically, Square will save businesses having to offer a credit card service through the ability to offer payments with the help of a small device that will be inserted into the headphone jacks (the only “universal” input port of any mobile device including laptops) and it will be able to read credit cards. In fact, the device can be seen in the image above.
The process is simple: You go to an ice cream stall and you realize you don’t have money, but you do have a credit card. You buy an ice cream, you give the card to the seller, who passes it through the Square device attached to, for example, an iPod touch connected to the internet via Wi-Fi. The clerk swipes the card, asks you to sign using the same finger on the screen, and voila. You just paid for the ice cream using Square.
In addition, the seller gives you the option to email you the invoice, whose appearance you can see below these lines and that you can see from any computer or mobile device. We can also have the option of letting the same business know that you are making a transaction through an account on the Square website, speeding up the process even more.
Companies that adopt this service get a way to accept credit cards cheaper than the traditional system through the readers that are connected to the boxes, and more linked to new technologies. From what has been seen, Square wants to focus on the service itself, so the device to be inserted into mobile devices is expected to be inexpensive.
After the tests, it seems that the sending of the invoices to the email accounts is done instantly, and the service dedicates a penny of what you pay to the cause that the user prefers, apart from also offer discounts and promotions to customers who frequently visit the establishment (Square remembers the times you have paid there and informs the clerk) and that they have been paying with this system.
Something that is also appreciated is the careful design of the system, which makes it intuitive, pleasant and easy to manage. At the moment, Square is in a private beta phase and only a certain number of companies are testing the service, but they plan a strong expansion throughout 2010. The devices that work right now are Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, but They hope that many more devices from other companies will also end up functional with Square.
At the moment the matter promises, especially seeing that even though it is in a closed group of companies in the testing phase and without being available to the general public, Square is already valued at $ 40 million. And MasterCard, Visa, and American Express have already accepted Square as their payment system, so the path for this new service seems completely unhindered.
Via | ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch (1,2,3) Official Site | Square Video | Youtube