I’ve been reading about Square, the latest new invention by Jack Dorsey, the co-creator of Twitter. You attach a little doohickey to your iphone, install an app and you can start swiping cards. It works by transforming the info into an audio signal that is decrypted by the app and sent to the square servers to do the actual payment.
Great idea, but in Europe (and more particularly, in Belgium) the banks are actively discouraging the swiping of creditcards – you need to notify your bank before leaving for a vacation outside of the european union so you can actually use your card in a foreign country, plus only a terminal that can read the chip and not the strip.
The magnetic stripe on your creditcard is easely duplicated, and as such seen as ‘too easy to defraud’. The chip is more secure.
So my guess is that the doohickey will either need to be adapted to read the chip and not the magnetic stripe, or else it will have a hard time landing in Europe. And I’m not the only one to think this.