Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Square system for card payments via mobile device

Square system for card payments via mobile device
There’s no debating that credit and debit cards are convenient, but typically the only places that you can use them are in businesses, or via the phone or internet. In 2009 the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, set out to change that. He released a beta version of Square, a system that allowed mobile devices to receive card payments. A small card reader plugged into the device’s headphone port, and an app handled all the 1s and 0s. Two years later, Square is out of its debugging phase and available for general use.

The card reader is sent to users free of charge, and there are reportedly no activation, gateway, monthly, early termination or hidden fees, nor is a contract required to use the service. What there are are transaction fees – 2.75 percent + 15 cents for swiped transactions, and 3.5 percent + 15 cents for keyed-in transactions. These fees stay the same regardless of the amount of transaction, and are taken off as the transaction occurs, so no fee schedule is involved. The user pays nothing at all if they don’t use the service.

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