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GOODCo Finalists: IT Innovators Disrupting Payments and Data Analysis

Square and Palantir Technology are changing the way we pay and how organizations think.



Information technology is one of the most disruptive forces in the economy today, subtly—and not so subtly—changing the way we do business. IT can break down barriers and speed up transactions, or gather and analyze more information than anyone had though manageable before to help make good decisions. These two GOOD Company finalists are shaping those two trends in ways that will affect your pocketbook very soon.

Square

Twitter, Square CEO and founder Jack Dorsey’s first company, changed the way people think about expressing ourselves on the internet and engaging with friends and strangers in a social network. Now, Dorsey is trying to perform a similar shakeup around the similarly fundamental act of paying for stuff. Founded in 2009, the company offers a number of products to streamline payments: Square, a credit card reader that virtually anyone can link to their bank account and use on their mobile phone or tablet with a flat commission, and now Car Case, which allows people to pay for purchases with their phone simply by identifying themselves to a cashier. The company will be able to integrate useful information into their products, from daily deals to menus, and create an increasingly robust consumer experience. By lowering the barriers of entry, Square is making it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses, and the company’s decentralized business model promises to take power away from the largest banks and credit card companies and give more leverage to consumers.

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Put it on My Tab! Square Makes Purchases Zipless

The new payment app could change the way we shop.


In the very near future, I’ll be able to walk into the grocery store, have the cashier ring up a box of Graham Oh’s, say, “Oh, hi, I’m Tim Fernholz,” and walk away without handing over cash or cards. Nope, it’s not shoplifting—it’s Card Case, an innovative new app that aims to change the way we shop.

Card Case is the latest product from Square, the company co-founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to revolutionize the way we pay. Square’s eponymous product is a card reader that plugs into your phone and allows you to process credit and debit card payments straight from your bank account, minus a 2.5 percent commission for the middle man.

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How to Accept Credit Card Payments on Your Phone: Just Swipe It

Having trouble getting your friends to pay you back that $20? Well now they can swipe a credit card on you phone. It's handy for small business too.


The credit card processing industry rakes in over $40 billion each year a few pennies per swipe. As plastic payments become more ubiquitous, especially with growing online sales, cash is starting to seem obsolete, sadly. Transaction services are safe bet for a growth sector. So it's no wonder a new entrant to the game is bringing the action to mobile phones. And this one might actually help the little guy.

Square is an smartphone app–and a little white square (pictured below)–that lets anyone who downloads the free app process credit card payments right on their phone. All you need is a U.S. bank account, a social security number, and a street address. Oh, and a smartphone with an internet connection. The company will send you the smallest credit card swipe machine you've ever seen. It inserts into the headphone jack of your phone, but you don't even need that to process payments, it's just way more fun. The Wired pop-up store was even giving them away to anyone who stopped by.

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