Square: The Future of Mobile Payments

Square: The Future of Mobile Payments
Mobile payments is not new. Many Asian countries have already embraced the technology and are using it regularly. Companies such as PayPalX and Amazon have started their own mobile payment programs. Square, then, is not so much inventing this technology as they seem to want to be the innovative leader behind it. Created by Twitter chairmen Jack Dorsey, Square wants to make mobile payments as easy as possible through some of the most popularly used smart phones including the iPhone and the Motorolla Droid. This alone makes them instantly appealing, but what else do they have to bring to the table? 1. No Hassle and Free Right on their website they say payments can be made in 10 seconds with no contracts, hidden fees, or monthly costs. The interface will be user friendly and hassle free giving you the tools to manage your money. This is the biggest key factor to any payment service as trying to make payments right now is the biggest hassle on the planet and not worth it unless you’re a small business owner (even then it might not be worth it). This kind of plan will help bring people in by the thousands. 2. Swipe it Square is also utilizing an audio input jack that will read credit cards and transfer the data to your phone. This is just for those cases where if you have to use your card, then you at least have the option. The device looks fairly small, but the price has yet to be announced. I would assume this is a cheap commodity. 3. Text and Email Receipts It would only make sense that instead of hauling some kind of printer around you would have an email receipt sent to you. I know various stores are doing this now (and I wish more would to be honest), but this is a great move forward, especially to becoming more green. But it’s really the only practical way to make receipts happen if you are going to go with mobile payments. I’m not sure how Square could do it any other way. 4. Rewards and Good Causes One of the surprising things I found was that Square is rolling out a rewards program for using Square with businesses. While it’s not the most generous rewards program, as it says something about after the 10th payment they’ll get you a free cappuccino, it at least shows they are willing to obtain you as a customer and could continue to push more rewards programs in the future. They are also promoting a charity program of placing a penny for every transaction you take to the cause of your choice. Once again, Square isn’t anything new in terms mobile payment technology. The technology is out there and being developed, but it’s useless if no one is using it. With the creator of Twitter behind the wheel, it would seem only logical that this company could be going places with mobile payment technology. While he isn’t inventing the wheel, I would say he could be more like a Henry Ford adopting a system that could attract more users and take the technology and innovation to new heights. Sources: http://squareup.com/ http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/03/cashmore.web.trends.2010/index.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter
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