The PhoneBoy Blog


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Moblized: Square Not The Only Game in Town

In my day job of InfoSec, credit card processing comes up usually in the context of PCI Compliance, namely is credit card data being handled properly, are we taking appropriate steps to secure it both at rest and while being transmitted. I don’t actually have to accept credit cards myself.

That said, my wife recently found herself in a position where she needed to do just that. It was a fundraiser for the local school district, and while the volunteer organization already had a relationship with a local bank and could easily get a credit card swiper, you needed a lot of lead time to do that and the task was remembered almost too late. There were also issues accepting American Express cards via these terminals.

As a backup plan, I bought a iPhone credit card reader at my local Starbucks from a company called Square. Square is not the only game in town, of course, Paypal has a similar offering tied to a PayPal account. And there’s another offering from HSBC Bank called Moblized.

Looking at the Moblized site, they seem to have very similar terms to Square and Paypal–they charge 2.7% per swipe and no monthly fee, which is far better than the traditional credit card terminal setup. The software also seems very similar to the Square software where a merchant can set up their own product catalog, use multiple devices, capture the signature of the customer, and so on.

What I think sets this apart is that an actual bank is running this. Presumably they already have staff very familiar with processing credit cards that have a lot of experience dealing with the various issues that come up. As a result, they offer 24×7 Live support in case anything goes wrong. I have seen reports of issues with Square and customer service–even my wife who is not a techie person said she heard of issues, though thankfully she did not run into any.

While I don’t forsee myself in a situation where I need to accept credit cards anytime soon, I’ll certainly keep Moblized in mind next time I do.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.