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My barber takes credit card payments using the Square reader and his iPhone. I get the receipts via text message. The text messages include a link to the Square site that allow me to create a "Tab" with the barber shop that lets me send payments to the shop from my phone. Square associates a credit card with the vendor and would automatically charge that card when I send a payment to the barber shop.

My question is, is this secure? This seems like a new way of handling payments, so I'm guessing the bad people who want to take my money haven't started chipping away at the system yet. Any thoughts?

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There are rules and regulations as to how the credit card information must be stored, and I assume Square adhere to these rules. The point is that the barber doesn't need to see your credit card at all, and doesn't have to keep its number for keeping tabs, you only share the information with Square and they remit payments to everyone else.

This is very similar to Paypal, Amazon and Google checkout systems, except that Square combine it with physical card processing.

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    It's also good to think, "secure against what?" About 2 weeks ago I tried to use Square at a coffee place, failed due to technical difficulties - whatever, didn't mind - but then 2 hours later I was charged for another customer's purchase. I had to call up the coffee place to fix it up (Square support was dismissive). The strongest cryptography in the world won't protect me from whatever workflow led to that. – fennec Jun 12 '12 at 22:34

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