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Other digital services also allow person-to-person payments, such as PayPal. But PayPal requires a PayPal account, which is linked to a bank account, and then separate steps to transfer the PayPal funds to the bank account. According to a July report from industry research firm eMarketer, mobile payments are expected to reach $1 billion this year and balloon to $58 billion by 2017.
One question is whether Square has enough of a trust factor for users to send their debit card information via e-mail, particularly given how much we have been trained to be wary of scams. The company, which is known primarily for its inexpensive point-of-sale solutions for mobile phones and tablets, is known among some small-business owners and some e-commerce watchers, but is not exactly a household name.
Square makes a free credit card reader for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Businesses can use the Square Register app with the reader to accept credit cards on most mobile devices, for which they are charged a fee of 2.75 percent per swipe or a flat $275 monthly.