Mobile payments company Square has released updates to its “Register” and “Card Case” apps. Square’s original market solution is a small, square credit card reader that plugs into a merchant’s iPhone, iPad, or Android-based phone and, using Square’s Register app, turns the merchant’s iPad or smartphone into a point of sale system that accepts all major credit and signature debit cards. Square’s customer app, Card Case, allows a customer to enter his or her name and payment information into his or her smartphone and wirelessly communicate that information to a merchant’s iPad or smartphone, opening a “tab” with the merchant in the Register app and allowing payment processing without having to swipe a credit or signature debit card through the card reader.
The recent update to the Register app allows a merchant to identify customers who make frequent purchases or purchase over a certain dollar amount and to reward those customers with discounts. The update also allows the app to communicate with a cash drawer and receipt printer wirelessly (previously, receipts could only be sent by text or e-mail, and payments could only be made via a credit or signature debit card). In addition, the update improves the search function and sales history, so a merchant can access past sales more easily to track purchases, create reports, resend receipts or make refunds.
The recent update to Card Case allows optional geofencing: the app can automatically open a tab with a specified merchant whenever a customer has entered the area (approximately 100 meters). A customer with the Card Case app no longer has to interact with the app at all when making a purchase as long as their phone is on; they just say their name and the merchant can click on their account (which brings up the customer’s picture and payment information) and complete the transaction.
Square was founded in 2009 by Jim McKelvey and twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and includes on its board former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. As of mid-November 2011 , Square was processing over $10 million in mobile payments per day, up from $4 million per day in July.