Square’s Card Case app recently launched on the iOS platform allowing consumers to make purchases at local stores without handing over a credit card. Similar to a Paypal account, the consumer can place a payment platform on file and take a picture of themselves to verify identity. Within the app, the consumer clicks on the merchant tab while in the store and the merchant clicks on the name tab of the customer to make a purchase. Since a credit card is on file, the merchant doesn’t need to swipe the card and a receipt is automatically sent to the email address linked to the account.
The card case also allows iPhone owners to browse nearby merchants that use the Square application to accept payment as well as keep a digital locker of receipts for future reference. The Card Case application is currently most useful in large metropolitan cities like New York City and San Francisco, but will require wider adoption by merchants to become useful to all iPhone owners.
In addition to Card Case, Square release speed enhancements to the iPhone and iPad applications to decrease checkout time to under four seconds. Square also removed the need for a signature for all purchases under $25 and improved the interface for tipping service workers at merchants like coffee shops or restaurants. In addition, Square added the ability for merchants to add $0.00 items into the final transaction. This allows merchants to include add-on items to the purchase like adding free toppings to a scoop of ice cream.
In a recent study in the U.K., Apple iPhone owners are more likely to make purchases with a mobile device than other smartphone owners. Forty-five percent of iPhone owners would use the smartphone to make a purchase in person compared to an average of 17 percent over all smartphones. In addition, 69 percent of iPhone owners use the phone to check bank balances and 62 percent use the phone for transferring funds between accounts.