|Posted by Johnny Joe James on October 21, 2011 at 1:10 PM|
OKC, OK — Prostitution isn’t called “the world’s oldest profession” because those who participate in it are unsavvy when it comes to preserving their way of making a buck -- but now it seems the physical buck itself is being removed from the equation altogether. Escorts and now street walkers have found that there is apparently an app for everything…. including prostitution.
Its called ‘Square‘, and it allows anyone to accept credit card payments for anything via their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Square uses a combination of an app and a dongle (optional) to allow a merchant (or in this case a hooker or pimp) to physically swipe a customer’s (aka, John’s) credit card and thus accept payment for services rendered without the need to carry cash. And, if the customer/John doesn’t have the credit card physically on them, the merchant/pimp/hooker can manually enter the information for added convenience (“isn’t that special” [in your best Church Lady voice]).
This isn’t the first time technology has been embraced to promote prostitution. Pimps and prostitutes have been flocking to the Internet to create their own websites or place classified ads for many years. When PayPal opened their virtual shop, some of their first customers were undoubtedly those working or forced into the sex industry.
In recent years though PayPal has begun cracking down when it finds its very recognizable pay now buttons on websites promoting prostitution and/or pornography, by closing those accounts and even temporarily freezing the assets within.
Regardless, PayPal was not an attractive solution for street prostitutes who have long ignored payment by plastic because they find whipping out a credit card terminal or Internet enabled laptop to be a bit of a mood killer.
Well, it seems technology to the rescue once again. There is no longer a need to place a traceable button on a website or strap a terminal to your fishnets when all you need is a small plastic square plugged into your iDevice. With a flick of the wrist the procurement of a prostitute has been reduced to the simplicity of buying a pack of gum.
Locally JohnTV.com’s Brian Bates, aka the Video Vigilante, has only encountered one street prostitute who is using the Square device. She goes by the name “Melissa” (she claims stage names like ‘Sparkle’ and ‘Diamond’ are too trashy) and is traveling through Oklahoma on her way back to California. Melissa says she has been using Square for about 8 months and finds she can charge her Johns more than if they were paying cash and doesn’t have to worry about getting robbed or police seizing her money. Melissa claims devices such as Square are commonly used by escorts in California and even by drug dealers.
“These guys will spend more when its on a credit card and many use their company cards to pay for it,” Melissa told Bates. She said she uses a generic sounding company name tied to a commercial checking account. Melissa claims her average rate for sexual services is $200 and she only has to pay Square about $6 of that.
Melissa also claims that while she doesn’t do this, that many girls will use their Square to swipe and charge the credit cards taken out of Johns wallets while they sleep or shower. “As long as you don’t get greedy and keep it around $500 they just pay it when the bill arrives. Its not like they gonna call police and tell them a hooker overcharged them,” Melissa said.
JohnTV.com did some online research on this topic and found proof credit cards and PayPal have indeed been linked to prostitution, however, Square seems so new that most of the evidence against them was anecdotal.
johntv.com is credited with this story, please check out his site.