Who would’ve thought that one of the more interesting battles in the mobile space would be for micro-payment systems, but VeriFone have gone on the offensive with their iPhone 3G/3GS based credit-card adapter. Facing competition from startup Square, Verizon sent over their hardware for TechCrunch to try out; a cradle for the iPhone, rather than the Square 3.5mm-plug dongle, it’s clear each system has its pros and cons.
Video demo after the cut
TechCrunch reckon the VeriFone hardware is better than the Square dongle, at least for use with the iPhone. However Square’s system – while currently limited to Apple’s handset and its iPod touch counterpart – will unlock extra flexibility in future, since it will fit into a regular 3.5mm headphone socket; Square apparently have an Android client in the works.
While VeriFone’s system is arguable more secure, it also comes with greater costs: they’ll charge vendors a $49 activation fee, $15 per month for an account, and $0.17-per-transaction. Contrast that to Square’s basic transaction-percentage scheme, with the hardware and service being free. Still, you can go out and buy VeriFone’s hardware now, so if you’re desperate to get processing mobile payments today then maybe they’re your best bet.