Twitter Cofounder Launching New Startup: iPhone Payments

Twitter inventor/chairman Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as the company’s CEO last year, has a new project: It’s codenamed Squirrel and has something to do with iPhone payments, TechCrunch reports.

M.G. Siegler: Here’s what else we know so far: It’s a service that allows anyone with an iPhone to become a merchant. Just like the wireless credit card swipers you see at certain shops and restaurants, you can carry around your iPhone and take payments. Apparently, the idea is that this will allow any individual to take credit card payments on a mobile device, kind of like what PayPal does for the web.

Squirrel is both a physical device add-on to the iPhone as well as an iPhone app. Ingeniously, the device derives enough power from the physical swiping of the credit card to then read the card, so it requires external power from the iPhone or anywhere else. The physical device apparently looks something like an acorn, thus the code name Squirrel.

If true, seems excessive to assume that normal people will carry around a hardware dongle to accept credit card payments on a daily basis, but could work for Craiglist purchases/flea markets.


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