Monday, February 4, 2013
Verizon joined a growing number of national distributors for Square's payment acceptance hardware for mobile devices. Commonly called a dongle, the Square card reading device allows mag stripe credit and debit cards to be swiped and transmitted for processing through a smart phone or tablet using free Square software. Square charges 2.75 percent for swiped transactions and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions. The technology is designed for both Android and iOS platforms.
Verizon is selling Square's card readers for $9.97. Customers receive a $10 credit to a Square account with their purchase, a deal similar to what other Square distributors offer. Starbucks Inc. began selling the Square card readers in its 7,000 U.S. stores late in 2012. Angie's List, a national consumer review service, reported Jan. 30, 2013, it will offer wireless Square payments as part of the services it offers to its 1.7 million paid subscribers through the Angie's List Business Center mobile app.
Verizon Wireless' decision to offer Square card readers to its customers comes as the company is denying Google Inc.'s mobile payment offering, Google Wallet, access to its phones. Attorney Jason Klimek filed a complaint against Verizon with the Federal Communications Commission in October 2012 alleging Verizon violated its network agreement with the FCC when it chose to disable or block the Google Wallet on Verizon devices.
Idalia Charles, a Verizon Wireless executive responsible for corporate relations in the northeastern United States, denied the company is blocking Google Wallet in a Nov. 29, 2012, letter to the FCC. Charles said Google Wallet requires integration with secure elements on Verizon phones.
"This is a secure and proprietary piece of hardware built into some devices, but fundamentally separate from the device's basic communications functions or its operating system," Charles wrote. "Google Wallet is different from other widely available m-commerce services in that it requires integration with this 'secure element.'
"Google is free to offer its Google Wallet application in a manner that doesn't require integration with the secure element, and many payment applications do just that. Additionally, Verizon also has a straightforward process under which Google or others could launch devices on Verizon's network with Google Wallet included."
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