‘Pay with Square’ wireless payment app brings geofencing to Android
Square isn’t exactly what you’d call a popular company, although it’s one that has definitely showcased talent and initiative with their previous payment processing solutions. Although their best known product is an iPhone dongle that allows merchants to process credit cards via the iPhone and iPad, they are also the developers of Card Case, an app for wireless payments that doesn’t require an NFC chip. Recently re-branded as “Pay with Square” – definitely an explanatory name — the app was redesigned from the ground up to provide a smoother experience.
As the Android OS doesn’t have a geofencing API (yet), the Card Case Android app was lacking what many users considered to be the best feature offered by Square in the iOS version of the app: the ability to automatically create tabs at merchants you’ve pre-approved (meaning you can make payments without taking your smartphone of the pocket). In a big step towards platform parity, the Square developers ported the geofencing API to Android, so, now, this feature is also included in the Android version of “Pay with Square”. Obviously, this is the first geofencing-enabled app to reach the Android OS.
New features of the Pay with Square app include a quick merchant-recommendation menu via SMS, email, or Twitter (much like Yelp), as well as the ability to discover nearby supported merchants. In addition, the tabs (updated in real-time) make it easy to browse and order items, as it’s showcased in this official “Pay with Square” ad:
According to Square engineer manager Will Henderson, the app is designed to restore a more human approach to non-cash payments: “Before we ever had credit cards, there was a lot more personality involved […] We’re trying to get the technology to the point where it’s invisible.”
Since the first version of the app launched back in March 2011, Square was able get more than 70,000 merchants on board, a number that will surely increase if Pay with Square becomes something Android users will mass-embrace. And given the unique, simple system it is based on, I don’t see too many reasons why they wouldn’t.