SquareUp will turn your cell phone into a credit card reader

by Jeff Wiener on December 26, 2009

Picture 20The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has launched a mobile phone credit card scanner system that could one day replace today’s credit card scanners. The idea is that you can turn your regular phone into a device that will accept credit cards.

The company, SquareUp, promises no contracts, hidden fees, or monthly costs all done through an intuitive user interface. You can read payment cards from any device with an audio input jack, including your mobile phone. Photo ID will confirm the user is the genuine card holder, and receipts can be sent to a mobile phone or email address.

Picture 21A quote from Jack Dorsey taken from Venture Beat:
But let’s be clear, this isn’t disruptive to credit card companies — in fact it potentially brings them thousands, or millions of new customers because it reduces the need to carry cash. The more you use your card, the more opportunities they have to charge you interest. And you still need a credit card to use it. Square faces a number of potential competitors. PayPal recently opened an application programming interface and is becoming a platform for outside developers to create innovative payment methods.

The technology doesn’t come without some controversy though. Apparently Bob Morley claims he invented the card reading technology, negotiated and failed to come to terms with Square prior to Square’s start-up. He claims he filed a patent for his technology in June, design a prototype, and assembled the first unit way before Square launched.

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

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