Square releases credit card reader for smartphones

Mobile payments company Square announced today the introduction of its credit card reader and application, which will work with iPhones and Android-based devices.

The device works by plugging the tiny card reader into your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android phone, downloading the application to the device, and then swiping your card through the reader. In the event of lacking the reader you can also manually key in the numbers from your card. It will also feature email and text receipts as well as photo identification to ensure added security.

The Square announcement said: “Today, in addition to releasing clients for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices, we are opening up our first cut at activating card processing and pricing, and sending out our first production batch of free card readers. All represent just the beginning of what Square is striving to become: a simple payment utility for everyone.”

Square was set up by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, with the backing of other high-profile tech gurus like Google’s Marissa Mayer and Digg founder Kevin Rose, among others. This backing may not amount to a whole lot, however, given the recent news that shop stalking website Blippy accidentally revealed users’ credit card details, and that had the backing of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

Given that Square has added extra security features to this device there may not be anything to worry about, but when it comes to people having access to your credit card details perhaps worrying isn’t such a bad thing at all.

Both the reader and application are free.

See below for a video showing the reader in action: