Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

You Will Know Jack–Square CEO Dorsey Added to D9 Speaker Lineup

With the mobile payments space rapidly heating up, we thought it would be a perfect time to add the person most responsible for that current disruption–Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey–to the speaker roster at the ninth D: All Things Digital.

By the way, Dorsey is the same man who also invented a little thing called Twitter, the groundbreaking microblogging service–where he also now serves as Executive Chairman and now its product guru once again.

In other words, Dorsey is just the kind of person Walt Mossberg and I are thrilled to have onstage at D9–a perfect entrepreneur to talk about the innovative product vision that has made tech in Silicon Valley so powerful.

Dorsey started Square in 2009, after serving as CEO of Twitter until 2008. A software engineer by training, he previously worked as a programmer at a bike courier dispatch service.

Just this week, Square made news by launching a new cash register for merchants and a new mobile wallet for consumers to make paying for retail goods extremely easy.

This is a quick development from the start-up’s original Square dongle and app, which allows consumers to use their smartphone or Apple iPad to accept credit card payments.

Square has distributed 500,000 of these dongles, which click into the headphone jack, and has recently said it is processing $2 billion in gross payment volume per month.

The new innovations should increase that if they catch on and Square can best a plethora of competitors, including a new digital wallet entry by Google (whose Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will also be at D9 onstage demoing it too).

As Tricia Duryee wrote about Square’s latest effort:

It starts with the user’s card case, which must be set up in advance with a user’s credit card information. From the card case, the user will be able to see the menu of the restaurant, cafe or spa they are visiting. Users can click to order. When they go up to the register to pay, the consumer doesn’t hand over anything but their name.

Consumers and retailers will have to believe that using Apple products can be as safe and secure as big enterprise-grade systems that everyone is accustomed to seeing.

Square will also have to go up against a ton of other providers coming down the pike, including solutions from [eBay’s] PayPal and payment giants such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

The San Francisco-based start-up recently received an investment from Visa.

Given that the future of the massive, badillion-dollar industry is at stake, it should make for a great interview session at D9.

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