Square CEO Blasts VeriFone over Mobile Payment Security Allegations

Square CEO Jack Dorsey issued what some are calling “fighting words” in response to VeriFone’s claims that Square’s mobile payments platform isn’t secure. As a result, a veritable war of words has begun between the two rivals in the mobile payments space.

“In less than an hour, any reasonably skilled programmer can write an application that will ‘skim’ –- or steal –- a consumer’s financial and personal information right off the card utilizing an easily obtained Square card reader,” VeriFone’s Chief Executive Douglas G. Bergeron recently observed. “How do we know? We did it. Tested on sample Square card readers with our own personal credit cards, we wrote an application in less than an hour that did exactly this.”

“The issue is that Square’s hardware is poorly constructed and lacks all ability to encrypt consumers’ data, creating a window for criminals to turn the device into a skimming machine in a matter of minutes,” Bergeron added.

“This is not a fair or accurate claim and it overlooks all of the protections already built into your credit card” Dorsey says of VeriFone’s claims on the official Square blog.

“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.”

“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,” Dorsey adds.

“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 support to make Square the leading way to pay with a credit card, safely,” Dorsey concludes.