Twitter Jack's Device Takes Credit Cards on Smart Phones

SquareA merchant, from anywhere, can accept a customer’s credit card by swiping the card through a tiny,  square gizmo on the edge of his or her iPhone or other smart phone.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey today announced his new venture, appropriately called Square. And he did it by tweeting on the social media network giant he helped launch three years ago.
Square allows merchants and individuals to accept secure payment from credit and debit cards by using a mobile phone.
On Square’s website, it states that payees can start accepting payments under 60 seconds, with “no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs.” All you need is an audio input jack on your mobile phone.
The website gives this background as the impetus for the idea:
“In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience.
“Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco U.S. Mint.”
Square’s website says that it is starting with a limited beta and “rolling out to everyone in early 2010.”
Square is backed by Khosla Ventures and a team of angels, the website says.
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