Square CEO takes high-road, downplays VeriFone’s security claims

Yesterday, we told you about VeriFone’s unprovoked, online vendetta waged against mobile-payments startup Square. VeriFone CEO, Douglas G. Bergeron, wrote and open letter to humanity and created a YouTube video declaring that consumers were in “dire risk” because of Square’s card reader. Although the accused company did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, Square’s CEO has published a letter of his own, downplaying VeriFone’s concerns, while taking the proverbial high-road.

“Any technology—an encrypted card reader, phone camera, or plain old pen and paper—can be used to ‘skim’ or copy numbers from a credit card,” writes Jack Dorsey, Square’s CEO. “The waiter you hand your credit card to at a restaurant, for example, could easily steal your card details if he wanted to—no technology required.”

The letter goes on to reassure Square users that the company is “constantly improving the payment experience to enhance security” and that it’s partner bank, JPMorgan Chase, “stands behind every aspect” of the company’s service. Hit the jump to read the full context of the rebuttal.

Today one of our competitors alleged that the Square card reader is insecure. This is not a fair or accurate claim and it overlooks all of the protections already built into your credit card.

Any technology—an encrypted card reader, phone camera, or plain old pen and paper—can be used to “skim” or copy numbers from a credit card. The waiter you hand your credit card to at a restaurant, for example, could easily steal your card details if he wanted to—no technology required. If you provide your credit card to someone who intends to steal from you, they already have everything they need: the information on the front of your card.

The bank that issues your credit card recognizes this and does not hold you responsible for fraudulent charges. When they are alerted to odd activity, they simply give you a call and will reverse the transaction. With Square, your credit card is designed to be used without worry,in more places than ever before.

Our partner bank, JPMorgan Chase, continually reviews, verifies, and stands behind every aspect of our service, including our Square card reader. And we are constantly improving the payment experience to enhance security. For instance, you can request an instant text message or email receipt delivered from our secure squareup.com server after every transaction.

At Square we work tirelessly to remove all complexity from accepting credit cards. That includes removing every concern around security. We thank you for your increasing supportto make Square the leading way to pay with a credit card, safely.

Jack Dorsey
CEO, Square

March 9, 2011

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