Friday, October 1, 2010

Accept credit cards on your mobile device.

In his NYT column yesterday, David Pogue reviewed the offering of a company called Square. Their product is a sweet software/hardware combo that allows anyone to accept credit card payments on their iPod, iPhone, Ipad, or Android phone. And do it at a reasonable cost.

I have to admit that I haven't paid any attention to processing credit cards on your cell phone. This looks like a cool idea, but apparently it's not the only option out there - although it may be the most palatable for some. In the comments to the article the reaction seems about even between the "This is great!" and the "This is a waste" crowds. There are a couple of people concerned about fraud, but I don't think the risks any worse than anything we already face on a daily basis. No worse than giving your credit card to the waitress at your favorite restaurant, anyway - and probably not as bad.

Square makes it possible to accept credit cards at your garage sale, or your booth at the local trade days, flea market, or for services you provide. It makes it possible to accept credit cards even if you only need to once or twice a year. And it makes it possible without having to have a merchant account or a paypal account, which is a big plus to some. Will it take off? I think it has a good chance, but only time will tell.