Square has officially updated both of its apps, Square Register and Square Wallet, to version 2.5. They now feature iOS Passbook integration and add convenient gift card functionality for merchants and consumers. Hit the break for a rundown of the new features.
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Remember the deal that Square struck with Starbucks that'll allow you to pay with the service at all of the infamous coffee locations? Well, it's all been put in place, and you can now pay with Square Wallet at over 7,000 Starbucks locations nationwide. You won't earn reward points like you would using the Starbucks official app, but you also don't need to remember to refill your virtual gift card either. Starbucks doesn't yet allow customers to use the cool Square tab feature where you just pay with your face without having to bust out a wallet or smartphone, but this deal is still in its infancy, so give it some time, m'kay? Hit the source link below for more on how it all works.
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We've gotta hand it to Square. The mobile payments company has just signed on its biggest partner to date--Starbucks. Yep, with the new deal, customers will be able to pay for their orders with the Pay with Square app in the US, which means they won't even need to bust out a card or cash. Square will also be processing all Starbucks credit and debit transactions. In addition to Square being accepted at Starbucks locations, the deal also sees Starbucks investing some $25 million as part of Square's current financing round. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has even joined the Square board of directors. Yeah, this is a big deal. Other Square partners include FedEx, Staples, and Walgreens.
So, when will you be able to start paying with Square at Starbucks? The company will launch the functionality this fall across 7,000 US locations.
In our opinion, the one big factor that limited the appeal of Google Wallet was the fact that it has only been compatible with CitiBank MasterCard. Not exactly something that the masses have in their wallets. Today, that changes, as Google has announced that Wallet is now compatible with all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover debit and credit cards. That's progress!
Also added is a remote wipe feature that allows users to disable Google Wallet remotely, blocking usage of the app with that device and clearing off card and transaction data as well.
You can now use Google Wallet to pay at over 200,000 locations across the US. You can download the new update today from Google Play.
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Look, we're as excited about the rapid adoption and potential of mobile NFC payments as anyone, Google, but can we ease up on the sales pitch a bit? If you sign up for Google Wallet, you get asked if you have a Nexus S, and a Citi MasterCard. If you say no, then you get a message saying that you should "consider" acquiring both. Since the Nexus S 4G is a Sprint device, that would mean that I would need to cancel my AT&T contract (or, I guess, have two contracts going) and also apply for a new credit card.
This morning Google finally announced their NFC payment system, Google Wallet. We knew this was coming as soon as it was m ade known that the Nexus S would be packing in an NFC chip. Google put together the video above that shows how they plan on changing the game as it relates to payments. Our take? It's a step forward, but until we start seeing more Android devices shipping with NFC chips, this won't mean much. What it does do, though, is it encourages handset makers to start including NFC, as this is a huge incentive.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the service would be available on the Sprint Nexus S across five different U.S. metropolitan regions: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Google has sent out announcements to a press event at 11:15 AM local time at Google's New York offices on Thursday, advertised as a partner even where Google will show off its "latest innovations".
Google representatives couldn't immediately be reached for comment. NFC technology is also reportedly being used by the Apple iPhone 5. Three major U.S. wireless carriers recently announced their support for an NFC payment system called Isis, which would let Americans pay for items at retail stores with their mobile phones rather than using physical credit cards.
Google Eric Schmidt, then the company's chief executive, showed off the NFC technology last November at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, running the "Gingerbread" version of the Android operating system.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey is on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt right now, and he just announced a new product from the company called Square Register. It's an app for the iPad that prety much turns the device into a full on cash register on steroids. It also includes a bunch of analytics, which lets users see all sorts of data. For example, a coffeehouse can see how many lattes they sold last Tuesday, how many customers also bought biscotti, or what trends happen when it's rainy out. The product works with a consumer app called the Square Card Case which acts as a digital loyalty card, menu, receipt holder, map, and payment card all in one. The new Register and Case Card service is debuting with 50 merchants spread across San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. These include bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, salons, flower shops, and more.
There is no question that mobile phone payments are very popular, and that many of us can operate our entire financial lives from our mobile phones. Apps from PayPal, and Square can turn our iPhones into portable financial centers, allowing us to exchange money quickly and easily. These new applications are creating opportunities and benefits that will shape the future of mobile payments.
Predictions about the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 are beginning to heat up, and much of the talk has been about the implementation of NFC (near field communication) technology. What we haven't heard about so far, is anything about native intergration of mobile payment solutions from Apple and Google.
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