Mobile payments company Square just got another new competitor: RevCoin’s Coin service.

Coin is offering small businesses merchant processing for 2.55%, a rate 20-basis points lower than Square. Although the rates aren’t as low in most cases as those that Groupon is offering, Coin represents another competitor in a very crowded space. The savings are hardly worth crowing about: A merchant who processes $1,000 a month in transactions would save $24 over the course of a year compared with Square.

Coin’s circular device connects to a phone’s audio jack via a cable instead of mounting directly onto the device. Coin claims that mounted devices can damage a phone’s audio jack. Its Web site takes direct aim at Square, saying “So you can see, we actually thought a lot about how to build a better device rather than copy everyone else’s.  Then we remembered something simple: The world is round, not square.”

Unlike Square, Coin is offering businesses immediate access to money through an attached prepaid debit card. (PayPal offers a similar feature.)

Like the other services, Coin offers email receipts and apps for iOS and Android.

Austin, Texas-based RevCoin charges $9.99 for its reader but refunds the fee once a merchant has processed $400 in transactions. That may be a significant hurdle to adoption among small businesses, considering that other providers offer the hardware for free.

Another important difference is that Coin doesn’t process American Express or Discover cards.

I expect we’ll continue to see new competitors jump into this space. I’m still waiting for an octagon.

Above: Coin adds a circle to the multi-shaped group of mobile payments devices.


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member