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Square – Payments of the Future


Collect card payments from anyone on the go with Square.

I’ve always had an interest in technology.  Since my pre – teen years I’ve always wanted to play on the newest computer, fiddle with the newest cell phone, and marvel at the flat screen TV’s in the electronics store.  Business, government, and society are all structures that can be massively affected by technology.  Social media has exploded onto the scene; the majority of companies are now located on some type of social media outlet.  Government, while a little slow to adopt new technologies, has been greatly affected by technology nonetheless.  Governments have needed to up their virtual security, and most recently, have debated censoring parts of the internet.  Society has been constantly affected by new technology, and yet I think one of the most intriguing technological inventions involves the transfer of money from one person to another.  The iPhone is quickly becoming a staple in the pockets of many Americans.  It’s easy to use, it’s trendy, and it works well.  Therefore, it’s not surprising that many of the apps that are created for the iPhone are popular and constantly downloaded.  Many of these apps people can barely live without!  One app, however, may change the way people deal with money.  The app is called Square.  Square allows the user to accept payment through credit cards (or debit cards) and do this all relatively easily on one’s iPhone.  Watch the Fox News informational video below for a short, in-depth explanation of Square:

Square is an app that allows someone to be completely independent.  From the friend who owes you some money to the small business owner who needs a quick and easy way for acquiring payment on the go, Square is incredibly useful.  Square also provides a register app for the iPad that is slightly more complex and offers more tools for acquiring and keeping track of payments.  This app can conceivably revolutionize the way people pay for things.  Of course there will be the usual cash registers at brand name stores or markets, but more and more people can now participate in the economy through these transactions.  In the age where everyone seems to be an entrepreneur, Square takes that notion to the next level and allows someone to be an entrepreneur on their own terms. 

In our class we’ve learned about the interactions between business, government, and society, and I believe Square introduces a whole new interaction between these groups.  Suddenly, society is slightly more independent from business, and yet business has another tool to use for increased accessibility. 

I was in New York City last weekend and visited Eataly, an Italian inspired restaurant and bar.  The bar was taking cover fees for entering, and they were using the Square Register on the iPad to record reservations as well as accept payments.  The iPhone has given many people the freedom to conduct business and other important activities on the go.  Square adds an intriguing, and possibly revolutionary weapon to this arsenal.

**After finishing this blog post, I began to think about the implications this might have on people working for money that is paid “under the table.”  Obviously, the employers and employees in this situation will not want use this app when it comes to payments.  But it is important to note that when one accepts a payment with Square, that money funnels into a bank account.  This could mean heavier scrutinization about what is being paid for by whom.  Just something to think about.

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About Ben K.

I'm a senior management major at Bucknell University, hailing from Westchester, NY. Upon graduation, I will begin work as a management consultant.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Square – Payments of the Future

  1. Ben, I have heard about “Square” from a friend of mine who uses it while selling products on campus. He claims that the gadget works perfectly and contributes a hefty portion of his sales to his newfound ability of accepting cards. Seeing the impacts this has on such a small salesman at a college, I can only imagine what the implications will be for individuals who sell products for a living. Unfortunately, this does come with the stigma of doling out ones card more often than usual. Like you, I wonder what the long-term implications of such a product will be.

    Posted by Derek | February 21, 2012, 7:48 pm
  2. I’ve never heard about this way of doing transactions before – pretty cool! I can definitely see the potential in this “Square” app, as I am one to never carry around cash. People are always making new innovations to do things faster, easier, and more effective. This seems to do the trick. It would also be much easier to get snag my friends into paying me back the money they owe! 😉 The information sharing ease of this makes me a bit nervous, in that society has always had issues with identity theft and other means of stealing people’s personal information. I feel that this could create a whole new wave for that outlet. I also wonder if this catches on if there could eventually be some type of regulation or ‘best practices’ to track, as you mentioned the transactions funnel into a bank account.

    Posted by Danielle Marquette | February 21, 2012, 9:18 pm
  3. Great post! I did not know about the Square app before reading your post, but I definitely agree that it has the potential to be the “payment of the future”. I can see how it would be useful for small businesses as a way to accept card payments and the advantages of being able to make and accept payments in such an on-the-go manner are numerous, especially in today’s society. My concern, though, as Danielle mentioned above, is identity theft. I am skeptical that the Square app is a reliable and secure means to process these transactions. I think that it offerers a whole new area for the expansion of credit theft. I guess we will have to see what happens in the future.

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | February 21, 2012, 10:51 pm
  4. Those guys over at Apple really have revolutionized the world of technology. I first saw this “on-the-go pay technology” at the Apple store itself. As I’m sure many of you have witnessed, there isn’t a time when an Apple store isn’t packed to the brim with interested customers. Instead of piling into a single file line, each employee is equipped with a specialized iPhone that can swipe debit or credit cards. The thought that our society has come from a time bartering as payment (maybe went a little too far back there) to cellular telephone that can accept payments from a small plastic card is truly incredible and speaks to the amount of innovation we have scene. It scares me to think what technology will be like when we are 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

    Posted by Patrick | February 21, 2012, 11:16 pm
  5. Danielle, I loved your comment about how Square would allow you to collect the money that your friends owe you without having to stress about when they’re going to pay you back. This app makes it so much easier and less awkward to ask someone for money, and it leaves no room for excuses as to why they can’t pay you back. Something that I do worry about though is the security aspect of this app. It almost makes it too easy to steal someone else’s money. I get stressed enough when I’m just using my debit card and wondering if anyone saw me type my pin into the machine. I would hope that an app like this has extensive security measure in order to prevent any type of fraud from occurring.

    Posted by Jenna | February 22, 2012, 2:25 pm
  6. Hey, Mr. Techno. The government, so slow to adopt, INVENTED the Internet. Just saying.

    I don’t understand how it makes entrepreneurship easier. Because I can receive payments too? Like how paypal and eBay monetized more transactions?

    Posted by Jordi | February 22, 2012, 11:12 pm

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