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Money in the (iPhone) Bank

As if the iPhone didn’t do enough…

Thanks to the development of Square, the iPhone can now process credit card payments from a device that you insert right into the headphone jack of the phone. It allows you to swipe a card, enter the total, sign right on the touch screen of the phone, then email a receipt.

Kevin Rose of Digg.com was an angel investor in the startup. He posted a video to his blog explaining the features and how it could be used. In a world with opportunities to interact in ways that we never could have 20 years ago (think Craig’s List, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy), this is another example of how we can use the great big internet in a much more personal way.

Many websites and groups are providing users ways to make their big world smaller. Etsy.com allows users to sell their homemade and handmade goods online, to buyers who would normally never find their creations. Eventbrite.com lets users sell event tickets online so that people have the opportunity to buy tickets with a credit card.

Using the internet and technology to promote local commerce has many benefits. For one, there is just more security when using a credit card. Square even offers a receipt with a Google map attached to it to remind the buyer where they made the purchase.  But beyond that, it discounts the idea that the internet is over stimulating people to the point where they are no longer connected. Square, Eventbrite, Etsy, and all the sites and startups with similar missions are making it easier for people to stay connected, and it gives users a realistic “shopping local” option.

Of course the internet is still overly stimulating. There is too much information to read. There are too many hours that can be lost to Facebook games and YouTube.  But the internet is still providing us with ways to connect with people in a meaningful way and in ways that really drive us.

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