from INC magazine 5/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 7/13
With the “Square” Card Reader [Founded 2/09 San Francisco now 500 Employees), Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter, has made it possible for anyone, anywhere to take Credit Card payments. Now, competition is heating up in the mobile payments market. It started with a list:
140 Reasons why “Square” will Fail.
In early 2009, Jack Dorsey distributed the list, replete with counter-points, to potential Investors to prove that he knew exactly what his new start-up was up against – and more important – that he knew how to face it. Square’s plan was to use technology to allow anyone, anywhere to take credit card payments. The list was a cheeky reference to Dorsey’s last company, Twitter, and a clever nod to the nay-sayers who doubted that the guy who invented the Twitter micro-blogging service could take on the financial industry. “I didn’t have a finance background, my co-founders didn’t, and we didn’t hire anyone who worked in finance until we reached 25 employees,” Dorsey says. “We get to design what we want, rather than doing what other people think should be done.”
One guiding philosophy at Square is, that technology should be so intuitive that no one stops to question how difficult it must have been to create. That philosophy is paying off. In 2010, Square introduced the Card Reader, a 1-inch-square white dongle that plugs into a headset jack and turns any iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or Tablet into a credit card processor. Today, more than three million merchants are using the Card Reader to process $12 billion a year in transactions. The reader, which is “free” to order on the Square site, connects to Square Register, a souped-up Point-of-Sale app that replaces the traditional Cash Register, allowing customers to pay with Cash or swipe a Credit or Debit card and sign on the screen with a finger. In 2011, Square launched a consumer-facing (voice) app, Square Wallet, that allows customers to walk into a store and pay by just saying their names. It’s being used at more than 250,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Square Charges merchants just 2.75 % per swipe. For small-business owners accustomed to hidden fees & rates that can run in the ballpark of 4 % per swipe, this transparency is the cherry on top of the Shake (up).
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