Square is Kicking Cards & Taking Names

Okay, maybe Square isn't kicking cards yet, but they aim to reduce your need to swipe your card so often.

My favorite payment processor Square has raised the stakes yet again. Today, the company held a little press conference to announce version 2.0 of the app, which sports an interface refresh and adds a more robust register functionality on the iPad, allowing multiple price points for an item (say, a latte with small, medium, & large sizes), and sortable shelves, so a shop owner could have a separate Food from Drinks and what not.

They also demoed a couple upcoming features. The improved register on the iPad will soon get even better with a Google Analytics style reporting system that will tell a business how many of a particular item they sold throughout the day. The register will also allow a shop to set up a menu or service list that users can browse from their smartphone and even receive daily specials. Regular customers will even be able to set up a tab while they are at a shop.

This brings me to the second upcoming feature: the Square Card Case. The Card Case is what people will use to browse a business' menu, get directions, and set up a tab. The Card Case will also sport a directory of nearby Square merchants.

The tab feature is what I think is amazing. Pay once at a participating merchant, and then you can set up a tab for future visits. Your next visit, you just open your app, select the store, tap a "Start Tab" button, and tell the clerk to put it on your tab. I often go to a coffee shop for a few hours to write. I dread having to go up and pay multiple times if I want a second drink. With this tab feature, I start my tab, get what I need, when I need it, and when I leave, the tab closes and my linked card gets billed for the total.

In my opinion, Square just trumped NFC payments.

All that needs to happen is for more people to get their hands on a Square.