Mobile payment company Square has rolled out several upgrades to its Card Case app, including an Android version and new geo-fencing technology.
The app has been rebranded as ‘Pay with Square’ and redesigned to make the interface more user-friendly.
The focus is now on merchant discovery, so the user’s smartphone can automatically notify them when they are near a Square-enabled business.
There is also a new carousel feature of popular stores in the area that accept Square payments.
Square is best known for its mobile card reader dongle which now processes $4bn in transactions each year from more than 1m merchants.
However Pay with Square has the potential to be even bigger as it creates a card-free payment method.
75,000 US merchants have signed up to use the software, which allows the user to open a tab and place an order at a restaurant before paying for goods simply by saying their name at the checkout.
The upgrades also add a social element to the app, as users can share the name of the restaurant they are about to eat at via Twitter or email.
This again emphasises the focus on merchant discovery and introduces aspects of Foursquare’s recommendation tools.
Square’s stated aim is to reintroduce a human element to instore transactions, helping develop relationships between customers and merchants.
It’s an interesting sales pitch and one that is clearly aimed at differentiating it from the recently launched PayPal Here.
PayPal’s mobile card reader is a huge threat to Square as the eBay-owned company has much wider brand recognition.
But Pay with Square offers merchants tools to better connect with customers through deals and special offers, developing brand loyalty in the process.
This additional customer experience is a step ahead of anything PayPal currently offers and is a valuable sales tool for Square as it seeks to expand its user base.