You might have heard of Square, which is a prototype payment device that plugs into your iPhone’s headphone jack, allowing it to be turned into a credit card terminal. Now it seems that Square is going to have some competition on its hands from the Berlin and London-based iCharge. On paper, they seem to function in a similar manner, with iCharge allowing any small trader to receive payments via credit card using this device, and an iPhone or a phone running Google’s Android. Users will be able to swipe their credit cards on the little device attached to the phone, and sign their signature directly on the phone’s touchscreen. A receipt can be emailed to the customer, and the location of the transaction will also be noted down via GPS. iCharge will be running a limited trial run with select retailers this summer, with a wider launch scheduled for Q3 of 2010. It sure sounds a lot like Square, so it’ll be interesting to see which device is released to the public earlier, and how they will perform.
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