Fair Square Review Update

Square Inc. recently released an update for Square, its wireless payment system product.

What is Square?

Square is both software and hardware. It turns a wireless device into a radio-based credit card. Square is compatible for use with devices running Apple’s iOS software or the Google Android operating system. According to a recent review by iLounge,

Pay with Square

Pay with Square

Square released its first-generation hardware and software in 2010. Use is subsidized by a per-transaction fee of 15 cents

plus 2.75 – 3.5% depending on whether the card is physically swiped or data is entered with a keyboard. Now the company has a second-generation version of the Square Credit Card Reader and version 1.5 of its free Square IOS app and has eliminated the 15 cent transaction fee.

Although the per-transaction fee went zero, fees per transacted amount remain. These fees do become significant, as they increase sharply above a certain threshold.

Target user profile

Square is unsuitable for most high-dollar users, per transaction, and overall high volume. Square is best for occasional transactions for small amounts of money. Pricing is better than PayPal’s money transfer system under these circumstances.

Minimal fraud protection

Square initially sets a limit of $1,000 per-week for transfer into your bank account. If you’re doing more than $1,000 per week in transactions, there should be a delay before the excess drops into your bank account, reducing potential for huge, fraudulent transactions. The details weren’t specified in detail at this time.

Be aware of recent VeriFone allegations about security issues. VeriFone’s revenue has been very adversely affected by the success Square has achieved to-date. VeriFone should be considered a competitor although it is a traditional payment processor, unlike Square. The validity of the allegations is unknown.

Competition

Square will soon be experiencing the effects of comparable, competitive technology though:

  • American Express released a payment product, Serve a few days ago
  • Intuit’s GoPayment uses similar technology as Square, but different marketing, specifically, an up-front credit approval requirement and slightly different pricing.

Expect much competition for market dominance ahead!

Published in: on April 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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Patent day for Apple

Apple received approval for two patents last week.

Logo Antenna

The Apple logo antenna may seem a bit peculiar.  I am uncertain which devices will use this invention. The range of possibilities mentioned in the PatentlyApple article, see below, included MacBooks, iPhones, wristwatches and pendants. Yes, “pendant” in the traditional meaning of the word, as in “type of jewelry worn suspended from a chain worn around the neck”.

Apple Inc

Apple Inc by Phil Bradley

What sort of pendant would need an antenna? I’ve heard mention of an Apple logo watch. It may have been a limited release item, intended for promotional purposes only.

Location sharing by PUSH

The location-sharing update patent at the end of the article is possibly of greater significance. It is PUSH-based. There is an excellent diagram which I couldn’t easily capture without a finesse-less frame.

I wanted to mention an aspect that was of particular interest, although my thoughts are merely conjecture. Recall that geo-locating is accomplished by maintaining a continuous background process running on the user’s device, even if not in active use. Apple’s PUSH based service renders this unnecessary. That’s obviously beneficial for conservation of battery life and power consumption, as touted by the patent.

Might another benefit be health-related? I refer to the possibly reduced exposure to RFD emissions for the user of a PUSH based geolocation technology. I wonder if it can be used for any wireless device, whether Apple or otherwise, be it smart phone or stupid phone?

via www.patentlyapple.com Noteworthy Patent Published Today:

Apple states that a location-sharing mobile device has to maintain an active background process regardless of whether other devices request such up-to-date information from the location information server. Apple’s patent details their very complicated solution to this problem.  Patent application 20100325194.

Published in: on December 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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