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Square heats up the PR battle in the Mobile Card Processing space

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Square have dropped the transaction fee part of the charge they make on users of their card payment system (reports TechCrunch).

While the 2.75% slice of each payment is still in operation, the additional 15 cents per transaction has been dropped. While this makes the books simpler, and removes a layer of fees normally used by card payment companies. Oh and the cost to get the iPhone attachment that powers Square remains free, no doubt as part of a business plan that involves getting the peripheral out there and in use in as large as volume as possible.

They rebuilding the business, broadcasting a PR message of making things simpler for their customers, and getting people talking about them.

The interesting question is what’s going to happen to Square as the NFC enabled smartphones start being used in larger trials with the banks and large payment companies (LINK TO ORANGE UK STORY). That they will still be able to take payment from regular cards is going to be a key advantage, but more important is going to be the processes and systems they have on their servers.

After all, NFC just allows for a small amount of info to be transferred between two devices. It’s the plumbing behind it that counts, and that’s where the value in Square will be realised.

Why start up a new company when there is one with a proven user base, blooded in the field, that’s got a lot of press, and has investors who in a few years will be looking for a “flip” sale to release their financial return?

It’s not just technical solutions that make a mobile transaction system the best, it’s also about trust, momentum, press and having a “good vibe” around the platform. Which is why Square is focusing on them just as much as the technical solutions.