Square announced today via Twitter that there are now more than 1 million merchants using its mobile payment services to accept credit cards. The startup has been competing against heavyweights like PayPal, Google, and Intuit in helping small businesses process payments via their mobile phones.
Square has a new app out of the iPhone users out there called the Card Case digital wallet app. The new app allows the user to complete purchases at participating stores without having to pull the smartphone out of the case. The version of the app available now is 1.1. It opens up a tab with the merchant for payments automatically when the users is close to a store that uses the service.
Mobile payments system Square has another new rival in the shape of NetSecure Payments' Kudos, another smartphone-based credit card reader option targeting small businesses and traders. Consisting of a simple swipe reader - either a USB model for your PC, or one that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android device - together with an app that allows you to process payments, you can pick up a Kudos kit from $79.99.
We have heard a lot about Square over the years, this was one of the first companies to offer a credit card scanner for the iPhone. I remember at the time thinking it was pretty cool, but not expecting it to do all that well. I was wrong on it not doing well. Square has announced that it is making some changes and along with those changes, it offered up details on how many users it has.
Keith Rabois, COO of mobile payment firm Square was on hand at the GigaOM mobilize conference and made a statement that NFC has no value. He went so far as to say that he has never met a retailer that said they wanted NFC tech in their store. Like many things tech, HFC needs a certain critical mass before it is appealing to the consumer. All retailers are really only interested in what the consumer wants, this is how they choose what products to stock.
Most of us are probably tired of hearing about another security breach, but most of us would also think that all this press about security issues would keep companies at the top of their game. This new security threat is not from a server or data center, this threat is in mobile device (smartphone) applications found in both Android and iOS. Square’s mobile payment app is most disconcerting, but it is not the only company with app vulnerabilities uncovered by ViaForensics. The other companies on the list were also big names: LinkedIn Corp., Netflix, Inc., and Foursquare.
Of all the iPhone credit card readers that are available for mobile card payments today, the one that is most visible is the Square card reader. This is the one you can get now in the Apple Store and then start taking credit card payments right from your smartphone. Square made a big announcement this week with credit card heavyweight Visa making a strategic investment in the company. Mobile payments on a device as popular as the iPhone is huge for Visa and will give the credit card company one more source of revenue.
Mobile payment company Square has responded to VeriFone's security allegations yesterday, describing them as "not a fair or accurate claim." As we'd suggested, Square CEO Jack Dorsey points to how easy it is to "skim" the numbers from a credit card, whether using "an encrypted card reader, phone camera, or plain old pen and paper."
VeriFone has been making headlines recently with its NFC plans and potential Groupon button, but it seems the payments expert is also hoping to solidify its place in the market by sinking its upstart competitors. The company has kicked off new campaign claiming mobile payments service Square suffers "a serious security flaw": because the Square credit card reader, which plugs into the headphone socket of your iPhone or iPad, doesn't encrypt the data from the card, a malicious third-party could write an unofficial app that illegally collects your details.