The mobile payment industry has been rapidly developing. Companies like Square are starting to offer transaction services for payments through smartphones like the iPhone.

Square allows you to receive credit card transactions on the iPhone through their app and plug-in reader device. Apple is now selling Square readers in its online and retail stores. An interesting move, considering the iPhone 5 could have built-in NFC technology…

TechCrunch reports,

“Apple has shown some love for Square lately, so it’s not entirely surprising that the payments startup has forged a deeper relationship with the Cupertino-based company. Most recently, Apple CEO Steve Jobs showcased Square’s technology at the debut of Apple’s iPad 2. But to be featured on Apple’s online store and in its brick and mortar operations is a big deal.

The device will be only payments product featured in the store, and while display location may vary by store, we hear that Square will be included in the store area where main consumer-oriented accessories are displayed. Apple and Square will also be partnering to host educational seminars at the stores, where consumers can learn how to use the device.”

The device retails for only $9.95 and come in white and black. Users will also get a $10 “Square credit” for their account when they buy the device. The Square reader plugs into the iPhone’s headphone jack and works together with the company’s free iPhone app. To get a more comprehensive understanding of Square, check this out.

Although a Square account is free, the company will take 2.75% off each transaction. The whole Square model is really geared towards small business owners our traveling vendors that need an easy and portable means for accepting credit card payments.

TechCrunch speculates on the financial reasons behind Square’s sudden allegiance with Apple,

“Clearly Square is taking a bit of a bath on the device sales here. Apple is probably taking some sort of cut from the transaction, and Square is giving merchants a $10 credit, so effectively, the company isn’t really making any money. In fact, it appears that Square could be losing money on this. But an endorsement and placement from Apple could boost sales and usage for the payments device so perhaps all will even out in the end. Also, Apple managing distribution and shipping of Square devices means that the startup will be able to give users access to quicker and more efficient delivery operations.”

Apple currently doesn’t use Square for handling purchases in its retail stores, but maybe the two companies will join forces in that area.

I sense something like a slow buyout taking place. Apple has shown obvious interest in Square, and Square has what it takes to bring mobile payments to every iPhone. It’s unclear as to how such a move would play into the NFC rumors we keep hearing about, but Apple definitely has something up its sleeve.

Here’s a promo for Square:

Will you be giving Square a try on the iPhone? What do you think the future of mobile payment technology looks like?

  • Alex

    if you download the free app through the app store and fill out your info, they send you the “square” within a week, for free

  • andrew

    thanks for opening the doors to credit card fraud for anyone with an iphone

    • Jon Garrett

      credit card fraud existed in many forms long before there was an iphone and will exist in many forms long after the iphone.

      last Christmas holiday, my wife’s capital one credit card was fraudulently used by a teller at the bank !! and he didnt need no iphone to do it !!

    • pete

      God, some people are just paranoid freaks, how do you leave your house in the morning? Do you know there are people out there that will rob you at gun/knife point !!!! You better stay home from now on.

  • Nad

    This looks really good but dosent seem to work i the uk? I cant find the app

  • SpideyRules

    I’ve used square for quite a while now, and absolutely love it. As Alex said, I had signed up for the account and they sent me my card reader for free, within just a few days.

    @Andrew, how does this exactly “open doors” for credit card fraud? Try backing up your statement please…

    • Katie

      My card was recently “swiped” using Square – about 400 miles from where I live. The credit card never left my sight. It was a $2200 charge. Still trying to figure out how it happened.

  • iPhoNerd

    I am using this device with my ipad 2 and receiving payment from my clients. No monthly fee but bit higher transaction fee, still better than paying monthly fee plus txn fee. Easy to use and very fast approval.

  • Oliverf

    I’ve had square for a while. Works good

  • dabe

    To those of you who already have accounts, how do you get money into and out of your square account? Do you get a debit card, bank transfer, or do they send you a check?

  • Telejeesus

    This “unsafe” payment method is coming to US only I guess.
    In Europe and at least here in Finland we RARELY use cards magnet stripe. We have simcard like chips in our credit-/debitcards.
    Coz you can copy magnet stripe SO easily.(Some guys install their own reader to ATM years back and made cards = money LoL)

  • JDI

    I’m using Square and love it. It’s only available in the US and can only accept US cards at the time.

    The ipad app is awesome. I have taken pictures of all my inventory and now have a full inventory on my ipad. I just click on the picture, swipe the credit card, have the buyer sign with their finger and then I enter their e-mail or cell phone number and they get a receipt in their inbox or as a text message.

    It has a picture of what they bought, and the location of where they were on a map.

  • JESSEDZIEDZIC

    This definitely makes great sense to anyone.