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I'm not deep into this space, but along the lines of the MS-Nokia deal, while Google or Apple could pay their way into a deal with these acquirers, why not buy one? How big are they, and could that sort of thing work? We've certainly advocated the Google/Apple/Amazon buyout of the entertainment industry to solve problems there, why not here? Rob Maxwell Lead Incident Handler, U of MD
I think the biggest issue that could hinder progress here is trust. As these devices get very small and available to everyone (literally, I signed up for one, and I don't even have an iPhone,) their ubiquity would seem to work against them. They're small, much like skimmers which are used to steal credit card info. And they're being used in places that lack the ability to inspire merchant confidence. When I go into a brick and mortar store and see the traditional credit card machine, I know that there's some investment behind it, and some security. Even at the little shipping store where it's running through the same phone line as the fax, and I sometimes have to wait for it to finish, I know it's trustworthy. When I'm paying by card for parking at a ballgame to someone who looks unsavory to begin with, and this individual is swiping my card through a small device while sitting in a beat up truck, I start to get nervous. Security folks like myself try to get normal people to be conscious of who they hand their cards to, and for what. Convenience is great, but having a card stolen isn't. We already warm to be vigilant at ATMs, especially those not of a large bank, and restaurants, and anywhere else that's sketchy. How does Square inspire the trust that's necessary for this sort of system to become accepted? Is that why they're pushing the Apple part of their partnership? The card reader works (and has) on Android phones too.
Make your own short-lived but tasty dice: I wouldn't put those on the floor, though.
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Oct 7, 2010