If any company could push mobile payments to the mainstream, it’s Apple—but Touch ID will need to work perfectly every time.
"You have to start with the fact that Apple is Apple," IDC research director James Wester tells Fast Company. “As an analyst you try not to jump on the bandwagon. In this case, they haven’t reinvented anything. They’re using technologies that have been used by Google Wallet and ISIS [recently renamed Softcard to avoid confusion with the terrorist group].”
The difference, though, lies in the user experience, which just so happens to be Apple’s forte. “You can’t underestimate how important user experience is, and that’s something Apple does really, really well—that very quick, very easy, very seamless experience they can provide.”
Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.
However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.
Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.
But that isn’t even the most intriguing thing about it. A prototype thrown together in just a few days by Wang Chao, Maggie Kuo, and Jordi Parra, at the Umeå Institute of Design, in Sweden, the piggy bank is designed to behave like a greedy pet. An iPhone behind the grille is programmed to flash a digital character, who, little Gordon Gekko that he is, needs money to stay happy.
Feed him with your credit card, and he’s all smiles. Forget, and he gets hungry, and starts pestering you, and starts crying.
“We thought it could be a funny way to make you save money or even to teach kids how to do it while taking care of an electronic pet,” Parra tells Co. “A bit annoying, of course, but with the reward of having saved some money taking care of it.”
Click through and look at all the photos, LOOK AT THEM LOOK AT THEM LOOK AT THEM YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO STOP SQUEALING