I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and lead strategy at PlaceIQ.

These are reactions to things I feel are important.

Why Square is Winning

Google Wallet and other NFC payment companies attempt to appeal to the those paying. Square’s customers are the merchants. This makes all the difference.

Taxi drivers are the best case study. In NY, NFC is nearly ubiquitous in cabs, and I have yet to meet a cabbie who’s encountered a user. One recent driver even broke it himself, because the rare person who attempted a NFC transaction would clog the back of his cab for minutes attempting to push a purchase, before falling back to plastic.

In Chicago and Atlanta, all the cabbies use and love Square. In Chicago, most cabs have official credit card machines, but drivers will stop you and insist on using Square instead.

This is because Square charges 2.75% per swipe while cab operators charge drivers 7-8% per swipe for the privilege of using the company owned machines.

Square’s product is built for merchants, who have existing pain, cost, and inconvenience. NFC and Google Wallet target customers, who still aren’t sure why a credit card needs to be fixed.

As a result, ever driver in Chicago insists on Square and drivers in New York are disabling NFC.

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  3. jedsundwall said: Haha Friedman.
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