Last week at Macworld 2010, I had an opportunity to chat with Jim McKelvey of Square, the company that wants you to be able to take credit card payments for ... everything! TUAW has covered Square before, mainly discussing the big investors in the company including Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Digg's Kevin Rose.
Beginning in April, Square will be giving away a small card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPod touch, and eventually just about any device that has a headphone jack. You sign up for a service, buy an app to go on your device (it's estimated that it will cost just US$1.99), and then you can start taking credit cards for all of those daily transactions where you normally exchange cash. Square makes their money off of a small percentage fee, and even donates a penny to a charity of your choice with each transaction.
McKelvey was taking donations for the American Red Cross at the Square kiosk in order to demonstrate how the system works, and it was impressively simple. Square was created for the purpose of making it easy for anyone to take credit cards without the expense and hassle of setting up a merchant account with a bank and/or purchasing an expensive card-reading attachment for their iPhone.
The software captures signatures, pictures, and even the location where the transaction took place. My receipt for the $10 donation to the Red Cross had an embedded Google Map showing that I had made the purchase at Moscone Center. Check out the video for my interview with Jim McKelvey by clicking the Read More link.
We apologize for the low quality of the sound on this video.