The future is Square
Square allows anyone to have a virtual merchant account and take payments directly. Getting a merchant account isn’t trivial, which is why only actual businesses usually do it. But with Square, people can sell tshirts at football games. Street vendors can take credit cards. We can sell tickets to our events on site, etc. The green field potential is massive. (TechCrunch, Dec. 1)
This will be a really big deal if it works, and small-scale field tests seem promising. (The quality of the video below is lousy, but it gives you the idea.) The most intriguing thing about Square, though, at least so far, is the conceptual leap that Dorsey may have been uniquely qualified to make: Payment transactions are a kind of social interchange. If Square can bring the polish and cachet of some of the better social-media apps — apps like Birdhouse and Tweetie — to the world of payment processing, it can unlock something huge, and potentially hugely profitable. This’ll be fun to watch.