You may have read my previous blog posts about the upcoming success of Twitter creator and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s new project called Square. Well, I’m afraid they might be up against one of the most dominating technology forces out there: Apple.
Square allows anyone with a mobile phone to read a credit card and process payments with a simple swipe. Square is still in beta mode, so they haven’t announced that it will only be available for the iPhone yet all pictures and screen shots point to that. The technology behind Square is quite incredible; allowing anyone to setup a payment account to accept credit cards from anywhere, anytime. No paper receipts, just text and email receipts.
If you’ve ever shopped in an Apple store, you’re probably familiar with their extremely efficient checkout process. Track down any Apple store employee and they’ll check out your purchase anywhere in the store with their mobile PDA checkout device. Don’t worry about a paper receipt because with a click of the button it can be emailed to you. Recently I strolled into an
Apple store and was shocked to see how their checkout process is handled today. Apple stores are using an iPod Touch mobile credit card checkout system for customers, eliminating the need for cash registers.
Now I’m all for start-up companies, especially technology ones that create innovative ideas. However in my personal opinion if Square goes head to head against Apple, they better develop additional features that set them apart.
Several features that could differentiate Square from a commercial Apple version is the ability to generate a rewards system for repeat customers. Also, a penny of each transaction is donated to a charity of your choice. Yes, these two features are cool, but can they rival the marketing reach of Apple should they decide to mass produce a way to turn an iPod touch or iPhone into a payment processing mobile device.
What are your thoughts on the battle of mobile payment processing devices? I’d love to hear.