CIO Symmetry

May 11 2010   7:46PM GMT

Is Square the midmarket mobile payment solution?

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

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CIO

The Square credit card swiper and mobile application could help small to midsized companies seal the deal for sales made while on the go. But it’s up to IT managers and CIOs to balance the ease-of-use business benefits with any security concerns.

Companies that do not have a mobile payment solution will be attracted to this appealing offer. Using an iPhone, iPad or even an Android device, credit cards can be swiped and signed off on anytime, anywhere. But there is always a tradeoff, right?


Square is PCI Level 1 compliant and, like all companies that handle credit card processing, must go through an audit every six months. However, a security breach could kill an SMB, so smaller companies that have more to lose with every transaction should proceed with caution.

It’s happened already: Last month, Blippy, a social networking site that allows users to post their purchases online, suffered a serious security issue when some users’ credit card numbers surfaced in Google’s cache results. According to a post on the Blippy Blog, due to a technical oversight, “some raw transaction data appeared within the HTML code on some Blippy pages for about half a day.”

Of course, there is always a risk — brick-and-mortar credit card transactions also have their security issues. But it’s up to IT to push back and weigh the pros and cons when excited users are ready to jump in on the hot new trend.

What do you think? Is Square a breakthrough for your business (think: the ability to close a deal at a local conference or meet and greet), or will you be treading lightly when it comes to the startup — at least for the time being?

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