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A Little Idea for Square

A really neat new startup is Twitter creator @Jack Dorsey’s Square.

If you haven’t heard of it, Square’s an idea of simple — and complete — genius. A little square credit card reader, the size of two chiclets, that attaches to an iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android Phone threw the audio jack.  And that allows anyone with a smart phone to set themselves up as a merchant, and to receive payments via credit card. Here’s the demo:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Welcome to Square“, posted with vodpod

Here’s my suggestion for Square: provide a Square for consumers and their phones, not just for merchants (or wannabe merchants). And let people pay — well, anyone — with it. Make the point of purchase the conumser’s phone, not the merchant’s phone.

I think this would help to make Square an incredibly broad and beloved and essential consumer service. Just give away the little Square phone attachment to anyone who sets up an account, and make up the cost through transactions.

In the video above, say I’m buying the couch –let me pay with my Square, and send the money via e-mail to the person I’m buying it from. They get a nice message saying “Mark just sent you $300 for: Couch” — with a link to claim your money. Not dissimilar from PayPal, except way more elegant.

I’d feel a lot more comfortable doing that than letting some stranger I just met on Craigslist swipe my credit card into their phone.  And given how utterly elegant Square seems to be, I could see wanting to use it in lots of cases — maybe making it the default way I pay for things. Way easier than having to enter your credit card and billing details over and over.

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2 thoughts on “A Little Idea for Square

  1. I am amazed that I can’t find a way to leave a post on your forum for a question I have. I ma actually shocked!!! How can this be?? I need to know how to have the vodpod widget show ONLY my videos, not the 724 others I didn’t ask to see. I want to use for a college course I am teaching.

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