A sign that mobile payments are coming

by Jeff Hilimire on June 13, 2011

Typically the cab drivers I get aren’t incredibly, how shall I put it… technologically advanced.  Like, most of them have phones that I haven’t seen since the show 90210.  And unless you’re in a major city, if they do have the ability to take a credit card, its the old manual left to right swipe of the card that gives the faintest possible receipt you’ve ever seen.

However, thanks to Mr. Jobs and the folks at Square, I had an awesome experience recently in a cab in Columbus, OH.  The cab driver had a Square attachment on his iPhone (see pic) and swiped my card and I immediately got a receipt emailed to me.  I also attached a photo of the receipt.

Square in the wild

Also, apparently Square is doing $3 million a day in mobile payments.  That’s HUGE!

  • Shane Weaver

    Excellent article about Square in this month’s issue of Wired.

  • http://www.tonykinard.net @TonyKinard

    Great, isn’t it?  But it’s not just mobile payments that are about to hit big [due to the pervasiveness of smartphones] that I’m excited about.  I can’t wait for the added layer of security to everything that should make our lives just a little bit easier, especially when it comes to the management and authentication of my identity.   Spawned by having to update my driver’s license information and car registration, I recently went through agonizing, labor intensive and time consuming exercise of cleaning up all my important personal information that is just sitting out there all over the place in various user accounts (social, shopping sites, services, subscriptions, etc, etc).  Managing all this stuff has become a serious pain and it’s not as secure as it could be.  I’m yearning for a standardized, centralized, ultra-secure place to manage my identity and provide my information to authorized 3rd parties.  Smart phones are able to add a second layer of security (2-step verification) that instantly generates verification codes to do such things as authorize mobile payments, approve exchange of sensitive information, sign into your accounts, etc.   So basically your smartphone becomes a physical/digital way to help identify and authenticate that it is really you.  Hackers may steal my information, but they’ll have to also physically steal my phone (my key) in order to get past the front door of anything I secure in this manner.  Location based logic can also be put in place so that if in the unlikely case, my phone is digitally cloned (boy, you’d have to really be determined), you would still have to be in some reasonable proximity to where I’m likely to be.  So if I’m placing an online order and I know the right information, my phone authenticates it’s me, but somehow it says I’m standing in a cafe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia… perhaps it’s not me.

    One ring to rule them all. ;)

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