While all the details are not fully understood yet, and only a select few Square members are allowed to try it, Square Cash was announced by the company as a way to send money to people. The process will allow a Square user to send cash to a non-Square user by sending the money directly to their debit card via an e-mail authorization process. At least, that is what is described today. Square has not yet opened up Square Cash to everyone. On their website, Square explains that the program is currently "Invite Only."
Square became famous for enabling individuals to take credit cards for payments on their smart phones and tablets. They are also currently trying to get into the point of sale business with another offering, and it seems that they are now also trying to get into the person to person payment business with Square Cash. What is interesting about all of these technologies is that they all rely on the Internet.
While Square solutions have fallen under criticism for lackadaisical security in the past, and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council has not made a definitive mandate for mobile payment security (only guidance is provided), Square has excelled none-the-less at bringing excitement to their target markets. Square strives to make financial transactions simple enough so that the average person on the street can participate. Before Square, a regular person without a bank supplied merchant account could not take credit cards. Today, Square allows everyone with a smart phone to accept credit cards, and now the company is focusing on another market – person to person cash payments.
Square saw the impact smart phones would have on everyone’s life. To that end, they hosted their solutions (at least their data) in the cloud, and their customers have flocked to them. This is just another indication that in the future, business will be moving more of their operations to the Internet. It also means that companies in the future need to be prepared to offer their services on the Internet where appropriate; provide Internet access inside their brick and mortar locations to meet customer expectations; and be willing to embrace new technology to stay relevant in the minds of their customers. If the plans for your business do not include wireless communication for your staff or at least your customers, you might find yourself on the outside of the technological future looking in.
/ Bradley K. Cyprus has more than 20 years experience in the security industry. He manages the development of in-house solutions to validate compliance, and he is a resource that Vendor Safe customers can rely upon to help interpret the PCI standard.