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May 27, 2011

  • News:  Square's Limited Card Case 

    On the heels of Google's release of its electronic credit card wallet, Square released its new smartphone app, Card Case. Card Case turns your smartphone into an electronic credit card carrying case and is sure to give Google a run for its money. At this time, because of a lack of participating merchants, the program will be available to users in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and St. Louis but the company expects to roll the program out nationwide. Different than the near field communication chip that Google uses in its electronic wallet system, Card Case is more of a "tab" type system that stores credit card information and then to set up a "tab" with a participating merchant.

    When the cardholder visits the merchant and makes a card transactions, the merchant's compatible Square Register app is able to automatically pull the credit card information with the customer's name. Upon completion of the transaction, the cardholder receives an electronic receipt which can be printed or saved to the Card Case. Because the number of participating merchants are limited, the app stores a local directory of participating businesses along with relevant information. For security purposes, prior to the tab being set-up for any particular merchant, the cardholder is required to personally visit the business and make a credit card purchase. The authenticity of the cardholder is verified and a message is sent to the cardholder with an invitation into the program.

    The Card Case has its shortfalls beginning with the limited merchant availability and the lack of geographical acceptance. Furthermore, the app is only compatible with an Android and iOS phone. There's no question Square has its challenges in getting the Card Case app accepted with cardholders as well as merchants. The company might be better off to cut their losses and place a greater focus on its credit card reader which Square offers free to user upon signing up. The tiny card reader plugs into a smartphone headphone jack and costs a low 2.75 percent of each transaction.

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