To be a drug dealer in the new millennium… When I was a kid (tilts back in his rocking chair…) we had to deal with two-dollar bills, debt lists and stealing loonies from my old man’s change jar. Now all Peter Pusher has to do is whip out his iPhone and you’re good to blo—err… go.
Developed by a Seattle startup named Innerfence, the technology is not going to be as straightforward as having a magnetic strip reader built-right-in (though that’s not a shabby idea). What’s needed to to start processing credit card payments from your iPhone is an Internet merchant account (similar to a bank account but with a payment processor for the settlement of e-purchases), a payment gateway (exactly as it sounds—a server for processing said charges), and Innerfence’s app, available from the Apple app store for $49.99.
The monthly fees at $30-some-odd-dollars U.S., transaction fees at south of .50 cents, plus 2%-3% commissioned by the credit card companies hardly make this worthwhile for kids selling nickel bags and permanent markers. But compared to previous technology that pizza delivery guys rock, priced at $4,000 USD, rich university kids could be funding their habits while mum and dad are non-the-wiser. “It’s my tutor… really!”