You heard about it here first. My colleague, Dean van Leeuwen wrote about this trend at the beginning of March (read his post on the Future of Money). Something he just mentioned in that post was launched officially today (and picked up by Fast Company magazine – they could read this blog to keep ahead of the game ).
This is a game changer for financial services!
It’s called Square, and will allow you to be able to process credit card payments using your smartphone. According to the press release:
Starting today, Square aims to make credit card sales as easy for retailers with an iPhone as it is for some dude selling a couch on Craigslist.
With Square, anyone can accept credit or debit card payments by downloading the app and plugging a little plastic cube into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android phone. After a quick swipe of the card through the reader, the merchant turns the device over to the customer to sign his or her name on the touchscreen using a finger instead of a pen. The customer can add a tip, either by percentage or a particular amount, and then enters their phone number or email address. In the best case, the receipt message will buzz in the customer’s pocket as an email or SMS text message while walking away with their purchase.
Customers are charged as usual by their banks or credit card companies, and Square settles up the net funds with merchants each night instead of at the end of the month. The swiper and application are both free and include access to an online dashboard with analytics that help merchants track exactly what they’ve been selling.
I wonder if the banks are watching? They do tend to miss the game changing moments in their industry.