Stop Calling Square A Mobile Payment!

It's a testament to media hype and the 24-hour news cycle that Square, the payments darling, is called a mobile payment.

How, exactly, is Square a mobile payment?

Square can help a merchant get rid of legacy payment terminals and use an iPhone to accept a credit card payment from a consumer. The consumer hands the merchant a PLASTIC credit card, which is then run through a mag stripe reader attached to an iPhone. That is not a mobile payment -- it's a merchant solution for getting rid of payment terminals.

In my opinion, mobile payments should be defined as a payment made by a consumer which in some way involves THE CONSUMER'S MOBILE DEVICE OR ACCOUNT. This mobile payment could be remote -- (examples -- using your mobile phone to shop online, using your mobile to make or receive a person to person payment, using your mobile to pay utility or other types of bills, using your pre or postpaid mobile account to make a purchase.) or local (ex: using your phone to make a payment in a physical location, examples are ISIS, Google Wallet, AisleBuyer, FaceCash, Modiv Mobile, Starbucks prepaid card on your mobile, etc.).

There's enough confusion about mobile payments as it is. Let's not make it any worse.​