What Mr. Twitter has to Offer Small Business

Jack Dorsey, chairman of the social networking phenomenon Twitter, is trying to make it easier for small businesses to take a big step into the digital age in 2010. In the past, making payments using a credit card has been easy, but receiving credit card payments has been decidedly more difficult. Dorsey has set out to change this through a new device called Square. Set to debut in the coming months, Square is a mobile payment service that will allow users to accept credit card payments from customers using their mobile phone. This hardware could prove to be a truly novel idea, since it will allow businesses or individuals to accept credit card payments for goods and services rendered. Square is also unique because it will offer users the rare luxuries of mobility and affordability. The device itself is small, and will attach to the phone via the phone’s built-in audio jack. Only the person receiving payment will need to have an account with Square, so users will be able to accept credit card payments from any willing customer.  To make a payment, the credit card is swiped through the reader and the buyer is prompted to provide a signature on the phone’s touch screen. This will complete the transaction; however, the buyer will also have the option to receive a receipt via e-mail or text message.  As a security measure, absolutely no information (including the buyer’s e-mail address or signature) will be stored on the user’s phone. The buyer’s payment information is instead sent to Square’s secure servers, where the transaction is carried out, thus making it impossible for the user to access any private information from the buyer.  

The Square definitely has the potential to transform how some small businesses work, and could even make stationary credit card machines a thing of the past. The company has yet to reveal any specifics regarding account prices; however, it has been confirmed that there will be different levels of payment for individuals who rarely use the system and for businesses that will use it more frequently.  The device will be compatible with the Iphone (or Ipod Touch), Android, and the Blackberry; but, users will also be able to use Square on their personal computers.

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