Square : Credit Card App for Mobile Phones
Now there’s no reason why all businesses, even small start-ups and flea market shops, shouldn’t be able to accept credit cards. Square, an electronic payment service, allows mobile phone users to accept credit card payments through their smart phones. Not even three years old, Square has already secured a solid and loyal following, with tens of thousands of sellers relying on this mobile payments device that is, in reality, a square-shaped card reader. The card reader is attached to the phone, allowing merchants to accept credit card payments either by swiping the card or entering the details into the phone through manual means.
The Beginnings of Square
Square began three years ago in 2009 when Twitter founder Jack Dorsey planned to devise a tool to help his entrepreneur friend James McKelvey process a payment of $2,000 for his glass faucet and fittings business. A prototype of the Square card reader was built not long after. The device is named for its square shape and for the popular payment expression “Are we square?” By 2010 Square Inc. launched Square in the market, with applications available for Android phones, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
The device comes with the card reader and features such as Pay with Square, which processes electronic receipts, and Square Register, a point of sale system for the iPad. There’s also the Square Card Reader app, a free download for both Android and iOS phones.
The app launched to positive reviews, mainly through its simple-to-use functionality and elegant design. The Business Insider particularly praised its ease-of-use and simple construction and GigaOM called the app a “disruptive innovation.” Square has remained attractive to venture capitalists having raised $100 million, and another $250 million in the works. This year Square is set to realize $5 billion in payments, and further raised capital may value the company at an impressive $4 billion.