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Twitter founder Dorsey working on iPhone credit card reader

19 October 2009  |  15907 views  |  6 iphone apps on screen

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has been outed as the man behind a new system that turns iPhones into credit card readers.

Tech blogs have been rife with rumours about a new project from Dorsey, codenamed Squirrel, for months, with a mobile payments system the main suspect.

Separately, it was reported over the summer that technology used to turn iPhones and iPod touches into credit card readers was being tested in New York.

The Square iPhone Payment System is a piece of plastic that fits in to the headphone jack of the phone. The customer swipes their card in the device which transfers the data to an iPhone app. Once the amount to be paid has been entered, the customer confirms by 'writing' their signature with their finger. A receipt is then sent to their e-mail address.

Now, tech site engadget has identified Dorsey as the man behind Square after noticing that the domain provided on the system's receipts, squareup.com lists its contact e-mail address as togetherbilling@paybysquirrel.com.

Comments: (6)

John Clarke
John Clarke - WorldNet TPS - Dublin | 19 October, 2009, 11:27

This seems very similar to the solution produced by Way a number of years ago - converting a mobile phone to be a mobile terminal by adding on a card swipe reader.   Of course, the problem Way experienced (outside of the US, you need chip & PIN support) is going to be an issue here as well.  Choosing the iPhone is a smart marketing move - anything with an iPhone angle is well received.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 October, 2009, 11:33

Anyone seen my skimmer? er I mean iPhone...smiley face

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Grant McNicoll
Grant McNicoll - - - Dundee | 20 October, 2009, 08:01

Just when the rest of the world are trying to reduce the number of transactions made using the mag stripe.

Marvellous.

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Ainsley Ward
Ainsley Ward - ACWA Consulting - Diegem | 20 October, 2009, 08:10

Strange someone should mention Way as I was thinking the same thing. Only difference was that Way produced something that was EMV & PCI PED certified using a Siemens mobile and hardware module. However, the current global love for anything on the iPhone should be enough to make Mr Dorsey a few dollars even if his solution is old hat, old technology and laughed at by Canadians...

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 20 October, 2009, 08:26

Turning a mobile phone to a secure POS is a dream which many of proffesionals are looking for.

However as stated by other comments it is not the right way where even PCI standarts are not seen enough to stop fraudsters.

May be someone focus on combining Iphone madness with contactless trend?

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Matt Scott
Matt Scott - RenovITe Technologies Inc - London | 20 October, 2009, 10:08

It would be more useful to investigate the iPod Dock Connector and get a USB PIN Pad interfaced to the unit (surely not rocket science!).

Any investment in Mag Stripe is going to have very limited appeal outside the US.

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