Square CEO Jack Dorsey released a letter in response to competitor Verifone’s allegation that Square is insecure. Verifone built an app that can skim the credit card info from the Square reader. He says Verifone’s allegations are “(un)fair and inaccurate.”The letter doesn’t actually allege that Square is more secure than any other credit card payment method, but simply points out that if people want to skim or steal your credit card numbers they already can, and that banks don’t hold users responsible for fraudulent payments and simply cancels them. He’s right: a waiter can, after all, steal your credit cards number when you hand him your credit card. In that sense, Square is secure — as secure as any other credit card payment method.
This is not just right but ballsy: instead of trying to spin this and hit people over the head with acronyms of whatever security systems they have in place, Dorsey points out the reality, which is that credit card fraud can and will happen, that’s a risk, and Square can’t do that much about it. It has a Jobs-ian, “don’t hold it that way” feel to it, but in this case it’s actually right. It’s also classy because Dorsey didn’t point out Verifone’s hypocrisy in this. Fraud is part of every payment system. All they can do is manage the risk as well as possible.
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