Mobile Payment Throwdown

Last week Paypal entered Square’s ring of mobile payments with one less corner. Their new triangular shaped “Here” dongle ends Squares’ stranglehold on this particular part of the payments market. While Square has processed up to $4Billion in payments, its a drop-in-the-hat compared to PayPal’s overall $3,650 processed a second.

I am personally a huge fan of Square. I recently used the device to collect donations for a charity event, and it worked flawlessly. It had a delightful UI, pain-free setup, and it was quick. Yet, Paypal is going to be a formidable competitor for Square. They are offering 24×7 live customer support, a lower 2.7% convenience charge, twelve years of brand recognition in the payment space, and already have 1,000 signups per-hour. Given a choice between the two now, my allegiance might lie with the proven competitor, PayPal.

While I had originally expected some sort of I.P. lawsuit battle, Square has gone straight for the jugular by stealing away some of Paypal’s top talent. This battle is going to be a fun one to watch as the mobile payment solutions continue to evolve, or until one of the major credit card companies (Visa, AMEX, etc) wakes up and hostilely buys Square.