iPhone, Android Can Now Scan Credit Cards

Square, a mobile credit card scanner created by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is now available for iPhone, Droid, and iPod Touch (it was initially designed for the iPad). Mashable has more:

The app is free, but in order to work, you need a special piece of hardware: a small credit card reader that connects to the iPhone via the 2.5mm headphone jack. The app looks beautiful, bringing lots of nifty features, such as SMS receipts, keeping track of your sales online, as well as tip and tax calculation. However, in its current iteration it also has certain drawbacks; for example, you cannot delete or refund transactions.

So far, without the card reader, the app was quite useless. This, however, is about to change. As Jack Dorsey writes on the Square blog: “Today, in addition to releasing clients for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices, we are opening up our first cut at activating card processing and pricing, and sending out our first production batch of free card readers. All represent just the beginning of what Square is striving to become: a simple payment utility for everyone.”

It is however still too early to judge the success of Square. As Dorsey himself admits, opening a merchant account to accept payment cards proved to be a difficult task, and the app development has taken much longer than expected. And when (and if) all obstacles are overcome, there’s still the question of whether people will actually use the application.

Dorsey is on a roll. Twitter just opened a new business center. If this catches on, business could feasibly be run only on mobile devices.

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  • Dan Lewis

    Which merchant service do they use? Does anyone know? I use North American Bancard, and I have had a great experience with them.