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Square will have a tough task turning media attention into consumer adoption

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Mobile payments start-up Square is getting a lot of press, surely in part because the company was started by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey. However, consensus from around the Web is that the platform won't catch on at the breathtaking rate that Twitter did.

Basically, consumers can use a feature on Square's iPhone or Android app, called “Card Case,” to make payments, while businesses can use a corresponding feature, known as “Register” to ring them up. But there are hurdles: only 50 merchants in New York, San Francisco, Los Angles and St. Louis have signed up for the service. “And like [near-field communications technology], Square's system brings the usual concerns about security in the world of mobile payments,” notes CNET's Lance Whitney.

ZDNet's Rachel King also notes that “if there's a problem with the way the app functions, a store employee needs to be there to solve it” and that “the process for getting Card Case onto a smartphone seems rather backwards.”

My two cents is that Square will have to improve its security before it sees even a percentage of the adoption of other mobile commerce applications. Many consumers may take a lassaiz faire approach to some mobile privacy issues, such as companies monitoring their location for improved service, but access to their bank and credit card accounts is another matter.

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