Pi owner Chris Sommers drew a large crowd of techies--and the merely curious like my husband and me--to his CWE restaurant on Euclid Tuesday night for the launch of technology start-up Square. Square was founded by St. Louis native and Twitter-inventor Jack Dorsey, and local glass blower and entrepreneur Jim McKelvey (pictured in foreground below).
The "Square" device (small white cube) is attached to the IPad in Jim McKelvey's hands. Square came about after a frustrated McKelvey, co-founder of Third Degree Glass Factory, sold a piece of glass but wasn't able to accept an American Express card in payment. That's when he called his old friend Twitter-founder Jack Dorsey and proposed a business idea involving the creation of a new form of credit card payment.,
Bob Lee, above, is a St. Louis based engineer who was part of the team that built Square for Android phones. The payment application is currently being used by several artists at Third Degree Glass Factory on their Androids; the IPhone app is scheduled to launch the end of April.
Jim McKelvey shows how a credit card is swiped thru Square on his Android (apologies for the photo...just so you know, I did not have one of the special "Square" drinks that were being offered that night). The advantages to small business owners are that there are no start up costs, and no contract or monthly fees involved with this system. Even better, each transaction costs less than other credit card processors charge.
For the consumer, receipts are emailed directly to your inbox or mobile phone and can include a photo of what you purchased along with a google map of where you were--just in case you want to direct a friend to the same terrific restaurant or shop. Consumers can create their own Square account to speed up purchases wherever the device is being used.
Look for this bit of St. Louis technology to begin popping up more and more places around the country very soon.
For more info: www.squareup.com