Square, the company that’s trying to change how you pay for things is trying to make purchasing items at stores just as easy as purchasing songs from iTunes. The new Square apps add functionality that was missing before, and brings us closer to that dream of easier purchasing.
The new Square 2.0 app makes it easier for sellers to organize their items on the iPad. It also allows for variations of items on the iPad, so you don’t need to have separate items for what is essentially the same item with slight variations. For the iPhone, Square 2.0 simply brings some look changes with a “refined look and feel.”
The real changes to Square’s system, though, comes in the form of the Square Card Case. The Card Case is an app for the iPhone that holds virtual cards for business that use Square. After your first purchase at a store, you get a text message with your receipt and instructions on how to download the app. After that you can see information about the business, including the full menu for restaurants on that virtual card. You can then place your order directly from the app, using the credit card you first used, with just a press of a virtual button. Then all you have to do at the counter is give your name, and the server takes care of the rest on the Square iPad app. That’s how Square sees the future of purchasing. Not NFC, but simple transactions that are as easy as iTunes or Amazon.
Right now Card Case is only available in 50 businesses in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The plan seems intriguing, and is certainly an easy way for businesses to take care of transactions without having to get cash registers and the like. It’ll be nice to see the Card Case app come to other platforms eventually. Surely iPhone users can’t be the only ones who would want this.