While Square, the new venture from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey that adds a credit card swipe reader to the headphone port of an unsuspecting iPhone or other smartphones, was busy demoing at Le Web, one of the heavyweights of the payment processing market was busy prepping an announcement of its own. Earlier this week, VeriFone announced PAYware Mobile, a combination iPhone/iPod touch app and swipe card reader that will enable merchants to accept and process credit cards on the move.
The widget is scheduled to ship in January and will be free with a 2-year contract with VeriFone (
no word on the pricing plans yet the Los Angeles Times notes that users will pay an activation fee of $49, a monthly fee of $15 and a per-transaction charge of 17 cents). The reader is supposed to encrypt credit card data in hardware so that the iPhone never sees the raw card number, and the app will capture signatures using a stylus (at least that's how it's illustrated now). Check out the video above for a brief demo.
It should be very interesting to see how these two hybrid solutions make their moves into the payment ecosystem. Square seems to be aiming at more ad-hoc usage (artists, coffeehouses, etc.) for people who don't have merchant accounts, but VeriFone is all about big retail. Room for everyone! TechCrunch happened to catch a reaction interview with Dorsey today, it's worth a look.