Square, the iOS-enabled credit card processing company founded by Jack Dorsey, one of the original founders of Twitter, announced some huge and exciting new features today. These new features expand the Square app and dongle from being just a credit card processing app to encompass the whole consumer experience from browsing a menu, loyalty cards, and digital receipts.
With the updates, you'll be able to head into your favorite Square enabled merchant and tap a button or two on your device to send your payment info to their register, then head to the register and order and put it on your tab. The Square register that the merchant has will already have your payment info and your name and picture. The merchant will just need to tap a picture of your face and your order will automatically be charged to your credit card. A couple seconds later, you'll get a digital receipt. Seems easy.
A new Square Card Case feature will allow you to keep track of all of this as well. It will allow you to keep track of which merchants you have set up tabs with, a list of merchants currently using the system, and your history of receipts.
This system is Squares response to the NFC payment systems that so many companies have been hyping but is quickly devolving into a fractured mess. It's a good response, and many ways makes much more sense than waving your phone around a register, hoping for a beep. We'll see what traction they get. So far Square has been fairly popular with merchants in larger metropolitan areas. I know I see it frequently here in San Francisco.
Grab the app below and get started. This new system is being tested in select locations and should roll out to a wider group of merchants soon.