Twitter founder launches mobile phone credit card reader

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Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has officially launched his new company, called Square, which sells a system to turn mobile phones into payment card readers.

Square, which Dorsey officially announced to the world with a tweet, sells a piece of plastic that fits in to the headphone jack of a phone. The customer swipes their card in the device and confirms by ‘writing’ their signature with their finger before a receipt is sent to their e-mail address or mobile phone instantly. Customers can also use a text message to authorise payments in real-time.

Users can create a Square payer account to speed up and secure payments and upload a photo so merchants can verify the card holder. On its web site, the firm boasts merchants can get from “0 to $60 in under 10 seconds” with no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. It will also donate a penny of every transaction taken by merchants to a cause of their choice.

The company has been touted as the real world equivalent of PayPal and, according to TechCrunch, is already valued at $40 million after raising $10 million in a funding round. However, it is the considered opinion of MPW that only a Twit (read: Moron) would pay $40 million for this business.