Square Goes Mainstream with Big Box Retailers

Square Inc., created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey,’s, says its credit-card reader for smartphones will soon be found in Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) stores. The reader was previously only available in about 200 retail outlets, but now will be available in over 9,000 locations after the Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) debut.

Chief Operating Officer Keith Rabois said Square goal is to provide the machinery that handles credit cards to small businesses that may not be able to afford. “Payments have a lot of friction, a lot of distraction,” Rabois said. “We can’t eliminate all of that this month, but our mission is to make Square ubiquitous.”

Square’s technology allows businesses to process payments via Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and iPad and with devices running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android Software. The card reader is hooked up through the headphone jack and enables sellers to swipe credit and debit cards. The reader is free online free. If purchased in store it retails for about $9.99, but can be refunded on-line. Merchants pay 2.75 percent of each transaction to Square.

The company is predicting that customers will choose its system over near field communications, a technology that allows phones to read cards by waving them in front of a reader. Over 800,000 of the devices have already shipped and is processing more than $2 billion in payments on an annual basis.