Square

For designing mobile payments so simple, they're invisible.

In October, Square bucked everything you know about how to send money: Its new service, Cash, requires no sign-in, no password, no download, and no (heaven forbid) Facebook connection. All you do is send an email, CC cash@square.com, and put a dollar amount in the subject line, and once you connect your email address to a debit card via Square, you're all set. "It really harms a product when you have to think about--and don't know--if the person on the other side can receive what you're sending," says Brian Grassadonia, head of Square's Cash team. "We know everybody has email, so we know everybody's able to receive money." Even better, Square gives users access to their new revenue right away. "We don't hold your money in an intermediate stored value account," Grassadonia says. "That's one of the things we think has plagued peer-to-peer payments." And another example of how Square's design-free design solves these problems. Even when Square's transactions aren't invisible in the cloud, the company makes them attractive: Last June, Square introduced the Stand, a sleek take on a modern cash register that's dedicated solely to processing transactions from Square.

[Photo by Justin Fantl]