Payment processor VeriFone has launched a blistering attack on newcomer Square, claiming Square's hardware opens the way for criminals to skim cards – without noting that such skimming is already commonplace. So concerned is VeriFone with your security that it has set up a special website explaining what Square is doing wrong, …
Probably no good in the UK anyway
Unfortunately I don't think the Square solution is valid in the UK as card holder present transactions are required to be verified by pin entry in almost all the cases that people would want to use these swipe readers.
I'm fairly sure Visa Europe's regulations would also prohibit this as the combined device (square magstripe reader and iPhone) isn't an approved PED/POI or whatever the current three letter acronym is they use. Not sure what the other card brands would make of it.
Very interesting though, perhaps if the mobile operators had got there act together and implemented something like the MPESA system we would be able to do some simple mobile based payments over here anyway.
Card-holder not present
I thought that the whole idea of this thing was to "type" in your number for you into an app or web-page instead of you having to read it off the card and type it yourself. I would scoff at such a stupid thing, but given how typing is on my iPod touch, there may be a market for it.
I don't think that the intention was to give them to shop-keepers to use instead of real terminals.
So VeriFone terminals are imune against attack?
Excellent; we can buy a job-lot of them and use them instead of the very expensive kit we use to secure things at the moment. <tongue firmly in cheek>
Only in US
Use of the Square is limited to the US in the service agreement.
This is *not* skimming.
That guy should read up on the term "skimming". Skimming means to steal card information while it is being used in a legitimate way (for example by eavesdropping on a badly secured POS terminal while somebody makes a normal purchase). This is not the scenario that VeriFone is suggesting here.
If you are giving your card to somebody you do not trust, it can be copied. But that "bad guy" could just as well make a photograph of the card, and obtain the card number and exp date that way. So the iPhone camera is an unsecure device too?
If I were the Square CEO, I'd sue the $%§& out of VeriFone for such claims.
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