Square Blocks Gun Retailers from Using its Mobile Payment System
May 15, 2013 9:30 AM
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It says the current gun debate has nothing to do with it
There's a lot of controversy surrounding the use of guns these days, and it's even starting to show in the retail sector as Square announces that gun retailers can't use its services.
Square, the San Francisco-based
mobile payment startup
, has announced a change to its terms that says gun retailers cannot use its technology. The exact terms block sales of firearms, firearm hardware, ammunition and parts. It also forbids sales of weapons and "other devices designed to cause physical injury."
Square said its revised terms have nothing to do with the current gun debate.
“From time to time, we revisit our policies governing the use of Square to ensure they are in the best interests of our customers,” said a Square spokesman.
Square isn't the first to snub guns. For instance, General Electric (GE) said it won't provide financing to gun retailers anymore.
While many companies are looking to either take a stance on the gun debate or just be more sensitive about the topic in general, it seems odd that Square is choosing to block out guns.
According to Southwick Associates, a research firm that studies the hunting and shooting industry, only about 30 percent of firearms are distributed to big retail chains like Wal-Mart while the other 70 percent are sent to smaller stores -- and Square aims to spread the use of its cash register-free mobile payment system in small stores like these.
What do you think? Is Square's decision to axe gun retailers a good idea?
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Odd Choice
5/15/2013 11:30:44 AM
This isn't about any affiliate groups. It's about a product or good.
Every store in the country is allowed to choose what it sells. Amazon can choose whether or not to sell kosher foods, religious ornaments, guns, etc. This is no different.
A payment system simply replaces cash transactions - not all, but a subset - with something more convenient. No rights are being infringed by not giving you that convenience for some goods.
RE: Odd Choice
5/15/2013 1:39:53 PM
But this isn't a good, it's a service. And I'm not sure that you can discriminate who you provide services to. This company is saying that you cannot use their payment system to give money to groups (stores who sell guns) that don't agree with their political slant.
Could they also say that the system can be used to donate money to Democratic politicians but not Republican politicians?
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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