I've been longing for a while to use my cell phone instead of my credit card to, say, make small micro-payments or pay back my friends for lunch. Seemed crazy for such a useful service to exist ubiquitously in Africa, but be practically non-existent in the United States.
So I am thrilled to see Twitter's Jack Dorsey and others launch Square, a mobile payment company that is "focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments."
As credit card terms become more and more unmanageable for merchants -- to the point where I'm seeing more smaller stores either refuse to accept them or post minimum purchases -- this is a great relief. I am glad for the convenience, but for merchants, it is a great cost savings.
Paying at outdoor markets, small coffee shops, even eventually friends could be revolutionized by this service. It's one of the best examples that I've seen in a while of technology opening up free markets.
Flickr credit: Jerrold