The app essentially turns the iPhone or iPod touch into a credit card terminal that can process payments, track past charges, and generate electronic receipts for the customer. Rather than wait for checks to clear or invoices to be paid, transactions can be processed on the spot via mobile connection. Card information can be inputted manually, or synced via a bluetooth enabled card swipe device. Intuit also assures that information is never stored on the handset, and that data is protected during transmission with financial industry standard technology.
The service seems to be designed for enterprise use, with a centralized online service center where user accounts and transactions can be monitored and managed. An entire staff’s payments can also be synced with QuickBooks for organizational purposes. Intuit states in the press release that motivation for the product stemmed from the observation that more and more entrepreneurs are relying on iPhone’s to manage businesses.
It will definitely be a while before people feel comfortable swiping credit cards through a mobile device, but as large, reputable companies like Intuit enter the space the stigma surrounding mobile payments may slowly wane.