Earlier this week, Jack Dorsey and the folks at Square announced their mobile payment platform that’s headed to mobile phones. It allows anyone to accept credit card payments without contracts or monthly fees and sends receipts directly to email. The same day Square was announced, rumors that Apple itself was considering a public release of their new iPod Touch payment system to become available to outside businesses.
In November, some Apple stores began converting from Windows-based portable devices to a customized iPod Touch accessory to process credit and debit cards for payment. The device is a shell that that adds a magnetic stripe and barcode reader to the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch runs unique software that allows purchases to made directly from the in-house iPod Touch.
As Apple has continued rolling out these point-of-sale accessories to Apple retail stores, several businesses have approached Apple in hopes they would be made available outside of Apple stores. Although retail employees have insisted that the device is not for sale, retail executives have now been collecting contact information from anyone who asks about the system. Supposedly, Apple is creating a database of potential customers in case the produce is ever publicly released.
With the announcement of Square’s new payment processing software and hardware in the works, perhaps many of those businesses seeking Apple’s alternative will migrate to Square. Do you think Apple will ever release their payment accessory to outside parties? Will the introduction of Square eliminate the desire for Apple’s workaround? Let us know what you think.