Square expands Card Case hands-free payment app to Android

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Square is extending its location-enabled Card Case payment application to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system and rebranding the service as "Pay with Square."

Originally introduced for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform in May 2011, Pay with Square sidesteps the company's signature mobile payment processing dongle, allowing consumers to make purchases and settle tabs without ever removing their mobile device from their pocket or purse. Pay with Square leverages geofencing technology to identify when a user's smartphone is within 100 meters of a participating merchant. Consumers who've opted into the service and attached a credit or debit card to their Square account can automatically open a tab with the retailer and pay for the transaction simply by giving their name. The merchant version of the app also shows the user's photo to guarantee against fraud.

Square Engineering Manager Will Henderson told Wired that Pay with Square is designed to restore a more "human" approach to the transaction process. "Before we ever had credit cards, there was a lot more personality involved," Henderson said. "We're trying to get the technology to the point where it's invisible."

The updated Pay with Square--essentially Card Case 2.0--also touts an improved, more efficient UI alongside new tools to discover merchants within the user's immediate vicinity. Consumers can browse a map to identify businesses around them or type a specific company name into determine its proximity. Pay with Square users can also create a list of favorite businesses and share recommendations with friends.

Square charges a flat fee of 2.75 percent on all transactions and promises users no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs. More than a million merchants nationwide now accept credit and debit cards via Square, and the company now processes more than $4 billion in payments each year.

The relaunched Pay with Square follows days after eBay-owned PayPal introduced PayPal Here, a mobile payment processing system clearly designed to usurp Square's dominance in the small business segment. PayPal Here--a small, triangle-shaped dongle that attaches to a phone or tablet's audio jack, similar to Square's own payment processing product--charges merchants 2.7 percent per credit card or PayPal transaction, a .05 percent savings over Square. PayPal Here signed up an average of 1,000 users per hour during its first day of availability.

For more:
- read this Wired article

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PayPal introduces Square rival, 'PayPal Here'

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