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Square gets the backing of credit card giant Visa

Mobile payment startup Square confirmed it received a strategic investment from Visa. Square produces a credit card reader that connects to the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPad or other mobile platform. The Square application on the device accepts the credit card information from the reader and processes the payment on the fly. It's an easy way for small businesses to accept credit card payments with minimal hardware requirements and a small 2.75 percent per transaction fee. [Past TUAW coverage of Square is here. –Ed.]

The company is growing -- in the first quarter of 2011 alone, Square processed US$66 million in payments and predicts it will triple that figure to an astounding $198 million in Q2. Square also expanded its retail footprint and is now available online from Apple and in Apple retail stores in the US.

This endorsement by a major credit card company boosts the startup's reputation and could help the company exceed its lofty goals. The amount of money invested by Visa was not disclosed, but Square confirmed Visa will become an advisor to the company. Visa and Square are excellent partners, as over two-thirds of Square's payments are made using Visa-backed credit cards. Though it enjoys a cozy relationship with Visa, the mobile payment service will still accept payments from MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

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