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This summer, you will be able to turn your cell phone into a credit card swipe machine. Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, has created the Square, a tiny square-shaped (of course) doohickey that plugs into an iPhone and can read the magnetic stripe of credit and debit cards.

The Square uses an app to transfer the credit card information and get authorization instantly, just like those clunky card readers used at retail stores.

Square’s big advantage compared to in-store readers will be that it doesn’t involve any up-front contract, merchant fees or monthly fees. Square has announced it will sell the software for just $1, and mail the doohickey free.

To see Square demonstrated by a low-key hipster, check out this video.  And if you’re concerned about the security of Square, read this.

We’ve seen different reports on how much Square will cost to use, and the company hasn’t released official numbers yet. But most sources put it at between 2.75% and 2.9% of the value of each purchase, plus a 15-cent charge. Its small size and low barriers to purchase are designed to entice owners of small businesses like dog walkers, artists and Craigslist sellers, who may not want to deal with the expense and contracts of current payment systems.  The types of transactions Square does not condone (and may withhold payment for), to name a few: illegal activities, bankruptcy attorneys, escort services, credit repair agencies and – for what it’s worth – occult materials.

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Image courtesy of Square Inc.

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  • SMAZ

    We had been REALLY excited about Square… but we have – in using it – discover 2 disappointing things. #1 – They only allow you to swipe $100 per transaction. It would seem to me that if you had good credit and could prove legitimacy, you could have earn higher limits. #2 – You simply CANNOT get in touch with them… they have NO customer service whatsoever. How can you get in touch to ASK them to raise your limist if they do not provide a means and never respond?

  • Chris Maag

    Interesting. I didn’t know that. I just learned about another device by AppNinja that works in a similar way to the Square. Maybe they have a higher limit or no limit?

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  • Carlos Diaz

    do u have this machine for metro pcs phones ???

  • Carlos Diaz

    this devise id good for metro pcs ???

    • http://www.getaphoneswipe.com Phone Swipe

      You can use Phone Swipe with Metro PCS Android phones.

  • Christopher Maag

    I don’t know about Metro PCS. You can try contacting Square to see.

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  • Suzanne Nash

    Can it be used with Droids?

  • Bridgette

    do this device work on boost mobile

  • Christopher Maag

    I don’t think so, Bridgette and Suzanne, because it only works on iPhones, and i don’t think Boost offers the iPhone. Another service, Erply, may work on multiple platforms when it is introduced, but that is intended mostly for tablets, not phones.

  • Dave

    The square is available for Iphone and Andriod.

    Does anyone know f an Ipad can talk to an Andriod phone? If so I would use the square on my ipad and use my phone for transmission (my ipad is only WiFi and bluetooth).

  • http://www.getaphoneswipe.com Phone Swipe

    I have heard good things about square.

    “Carlos Diaz April 14, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    this devise id good for metro pcs ???”

    You can use Phone Swipe with one of Metro PCS Android phones.

  • http://www.culebraecotours.net ladislao

    I need to find who has one of this devices for my cell phone that offer their services in Puerto Rico.
    Any out there now who?


  • http://yahoo.com jennifer

    i just wanted to know if a t-mobile phone can be used on this.

  • Melanie

    will this device work on the prepaid iPhone

  • mike

    just wanted to know if an unlocked iphone would work if straighttalk was my service?



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