It’s been just a week since the debut of Square, a service that lets people take physical credit card payments via their mobile phone. Given how much positive press the new service has received, it’s no wonder that traditional payment providers are taking notice. The last thing they want is another PayPal to come along and blindside them.
I just saw an announcement by VeriFone on their own Square competitor – an iPhone hardware and software solution called Payware Mobile that lets users take physical credit cards just like Square. They can’t help but get a jab in at Square – CEO Douglas Bergeron says:
Banks and processors are concerned about the security issues of unapproved merchants using unregulated software and insecure fobs to accept card payments…PAYware Mobile leverages VeriFone’s proven payment and security expertise to provide the ultimate in end-to-end protection against payment fraud and misuse on an open and unregulated platform such as the iPhone.
Here’s the great thing – Square cofounder Jack Dorsey is still here at Le Web (he was on stage yesterday) and was just a few feet away when I read the article. I grabbed him and got an on camera reaction to the PAYware announcement.
The PAYware site and announcement was clearly thrown together quickly – that’s a photoshop job if I ever saw one. But beyond that, their solution still requires a merchant account to process payments. That’s great for businesses who have those accounts. But for millions of consumers and small businesses that don’t want to or can’t get a merchant account, Square will still work. Also, Square’s hardware, which interfaces with the phone via the headset/microphone jack, will work on most phones. PAYware only works on the iPhone.
Note that Apple has their own solution for this and have recently rolled it out to Apple retail stores.
Video is below: