Square updates Card Case app to support hands-free mobile payments
Mobile payment solutions startup Square is introducing a revamped version of its Card Case application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform, enabling consumers to make purchases and settle tabs without removing their mobile device from their pocket or purse.
The merchant's version of the Card Case app will show a photo of the user alongside her name to guarantee against fraud.
According to Square, Card Case leverages location-based service enhancements in Apple's iOS 5 platform update to identify when a user's smartphone is within 100 meters of a participating merchant. Consumers who've opted in to the Card Case 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's version of the Card Case app will show a photo of the user alongside her name to guarantee against fraud.
About 20,000 merchants nationwide have signed up to accept Card Case payments, Square says. Although hands-free Card Case payments are currently limited to iOS, the firm plans to expand to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android in the near future.
Square initially unveiled Card Case in late May. The app expands upon the company's signature payment technology, which enables small businesses and other users to accept credit and debit purchases via smartphone or tablet, swiping cards through a small dongle that plugs into the device's audio jack. Square charges a fee of 2.75 percent on each transaction and promises users no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs.
Last month, Square COO Keith Rabois told TechCrunch that the firm is now processing $2 billion in transactions each year. In addition, Square has signed up more than 800,000 merchant partners, up from 500,000 in May 2011--by comparison, credit card giants Visa and MasterCard have authorized a combined 8.2 million merchants.
- read this San Jose Mercury News article
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