You’ve probably heard about Square (@square) by now. I mentioned it last week apropos of Alex Payne’s (@al3x) departure from Twitter; Square is the brainchild of Jack Dorsey (@jack), one of Twitter’s cofounders.
Some of the Square team was at Google IO (@googleio) last week, and I had a chance to chat with them and get my hands on one of their card readers, which I believe are currently back-ordered.
Square is a portable device that allows you to accept payments from your mobile phone, plus they handle charging the credit card and getting you paid. Not everyone has this use case, but if you do, it’s a great little device and an awesome service.
Not only does Square allow you to carry what amounts to a POS terminal with you, their service fees are very reasonable. They take 2.75% + $0.15 for swiped cards, and 3.5% + $0.15 for hand-entered cards.
There are per transaction and weekly limits too, but this keeps Square aimed at their target customers.
Square is great for tiny businesses, like food carts or personal services (tutoring, on-site support) or charities, that either can’t afford a POS terminal or move around a lot, making one impossible.
I can see it being really useful for ad hoc payments from friends, e.g. someone lost a bet or owes you money. That sort of thing.
I’m also in awe of how the card reader takes the card data off the magnetic strip and interprets it into sound that can be understood by the app.
Very cool stuff. Anyway, if anyone wants to pay me, I’m happy to test it out live for you. I’ll even take a video and post it here.
Any takers? Find the comments.