Square has made quite a few headlines
with its in-progress payment system for the iPhone, but here's that reader developed by Mophie
(known for their battery pack add-ons) and serviced by Intuit. It's called the Complete Card Solution for iPhone
, and it's costlier than Square's extremely low cost of entry where all you need to start taking payments is a free account, free app and free card reader. This one runs $179 from the get-go; there's also a $12.95 charge per month, on top of the per-payment fees that Intuit will take out. But Intuit's reader is a little more friendly for big sales teams (allowing for 50 users on one account), and the transaction charge runs only about 1.7 percent as compared to Square's 2.75 percent.
So if Intuit has a target, it's probably larger businesses -- Square's reader is much more ad-hoc and easier for the smaller companies and individuals to use. There is one other issue, however -- while Square's reader just plugs into the headphone jack (meaning it can be used by any iPhone, and even some other smartphones), Mophie's clearly fits all the way around the phone, which means it's currently available only for iPhone 3G and 3GS. Still, if you don't need one set up for the iPhone 4 right away, the Mophie reader is reportedly on Apple store shelves now.