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Following VeriFone spat and Visa investment, Square adds encryption

03 May 2011  |  9169 views  |  0 Security/Risk

After a high-profile spat with rival VeriFone over its security credentials, mobile payments start-up Square is set to roll out new, encryption-capable, hardware.

VeriFone launched a public attack on its smaller rival in March over Square's hardware which cannot encrypt card data. In an open letter, VeriFone CEO Douglas Bergeron accused Square of "serious security flaws" that put "consumers in dire risk".

Square boss Jack Dorsey insisted VeriFone's allegation was "not a fair or accurate claim" and the scuffle was generally viewed as a public relations loss for the aggressor.

However, last week Square received a strategic investment from Visa on the same day that the card giant released a set of mobile acceptance best practices for merchants, software developers and device manufacturers.

The guidelines say firms should "encrypt all account data including at the card-reader level and in transmission between the acceptance device and the processor - especially important given the use of wireless or public networks".

Square COO Keith Rabois took to the Visa Security Summit Web site, writing a blog in which he says: "Of course, Square complies with all current industry standards, and we are committed to meeting or exceeding industry guidelines as they evolve - all while keeping our card reader free."

Then, according to the StorefrontBacktalk site, Sam Quigley, security lead at Square confirmed at the Visa conference that the firm will begin rolling out an encrypting card reader this summer.

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