WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 26, 2010, 09:36 AM

New cell phone software allows people to accept payments from credit cards

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - If you owe a friend some money, there's a new way to pay them back. Money doesn't exchange hands. It's done electronically with your phone.

The question, cash or credit is a thing of the past on college campuses.

"It's just more convenient. I never have cash in my wallet, it is just convenient to give them the card and then have them swipe that."

A senior at MSUM, Mike Fischer says it's all about convenience and now days, there's little reason to carry cash when almost every place accepts cards.

"Something that requires cash, that's the only time I ever go to the ATM and get cash out."

Now your card isn't just for the store. There's a new App for smart phones called Square.

It allows you to accept payments on your phone by swiping the card.

"I think everyone will have that sooner or later it will just be easy, like if you owed someone money instead of writing them a check just swipe their card under your phone."

"I could see that being something that really catches on quickly and people really enjoying and liking."

When you download the app at the square website you get the card reader sent to you for free, it plugs right into your phone and that square makes it capable of reading the debit or credit cards. Right now, online is the only place to get the Square.

For Fischer and the rest of his generation, it's a new technology moving us closer and closer to saying bye-bye to paper. Each time you swipe a card, you're charged a rate similar to what retail stores are charged when people use the cards.

Financial advisors are reminding people to remember basic principles while technology makes it easier to spend. People with the Village in Fargo say credit and debit cards made can cause bad spending habits.

They say people just see it as numbers leaving an account, rather than when you pay with cash and physically see your money disappear. They say things like this new smart phone App is another way to make spending easy.

“Any new technologies, we always tell people it comes down to the basics of organization and just being aware of how much money you have and where it's going.”

Jurgenson says people get into trouble with debit cards when they over-spend and receive the over draft fees.