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Square's new gift card initiative includes support for Apple's Passbook

post #1 of 19
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Mobile payment pioneer Square on Sunday introduced a new gift giving service, allowing users of the company's free Square Wallet app to send and receive digital gift cards which can be stored in Apple's Passbook iOS app.

Square Wallet
Source: Square


Square's system leverages it entire installed base of over 250,000 participating merchants nationwide to let Square Wallet, formerly Pay with Square, users search for, pick and buy gift cards that can be sent via email to anyone, even those who aren't yet part of the program.

The setup is much like existing gift card purchase-and-redemption services, such as Apple's own Apple Store cards, allowing customers to buy and send the digital assets without have to physically swipe a credit card. For example, the recipient of a Square Wallet gift card can simply store the certificate in the dedicated app, print out the QR code or store it in Passbook.

On the merchant side, an update to Square Register was also rolled out on Sunday to allow business owners to accept and process the gift card transactions.

It should be noted that Square's initiative is cross-platform, meaning owners of iPhones and iPads can buy and send gift cards to Android users, and vice versa.



Square first introduced QR code payment integration when it partnered with Starbucks in August.

The new initiative comes less than a week after credit card company Discover released an iOS app update that allows customers to turn their Cashback Bonus rewards into eCertificates, which can be stored in Apple's Passbook.

Both Square Wallet and Square Register are available now as free downloads through the App Store.
post #2 of 19
Why isn't Apple competing with or buying out Square?

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post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why isn't Apple competing with or buying out Square?

What would be the advantage of that?
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post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why isn't Apple competing with or buying out Square?

That would imply they are scared of the company. And what reason do they have for that

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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What would be the advantage of that?

Square does something that I think would greatly benefit Apple and their customers. What other advantage is needed?

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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

That would imply they are scared of the company. And what reason do they have for that

So every time they buy a company for their IP or compete in a new area it's because they are scared, not because they see an opportunity? 1confused.gif

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 19
Apple told one of the analysts they have no interest in operating a payment service.
post #8 of 19

And really the only thing that they could bring to the game is a good deal with the payment gateway companies they might have by the number of transactions they do on a daily basis.  Otherwise I fail to see what they could bring by doing business with people in the fashion that Square does.  Apple is in a completley different  business model than square - they don't need to buy them when they have their own CC processing systems that works quite well for what they need to do.

 

Besides, most of the stuff that square does is with people who have nothing to do with Apple and may not be their customers at all.  

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

Besides, most of the stuff that square does is with people who have nothing to do with Apple and may not be their customers at all.  

Really? And yet Square Wallet and Square Register are available on iOS. The original Square credit card swiper was first designed for iOS devices. Nothing to do with Apple at all indeed.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post

Apple told one of the analysts they have no interest in operating a payment service.


I remember that, I think. But effectively, they already operate one. It only works for the Apple Store, but it does far more and far larger transactions than Square.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Square does something that I think would greatly benefit Apple and their customers. What other advantage is needed?


To boot, Square's founder is the boss and founder of Twitter. Apple and Twitter are friendly.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


I remember that, I think. But effectively, they already operate one. It only works for the Apple Store, but it does far more and far larger transactions than Square.

It's different when you operate a payment engine for 3rd parties. Apple will need to handle charge backs for fraud and returns.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post

It's different when you operate a payment engine for 3rd parties. Apple will need to handle charge backs for fraud and returns.

Consider Apple has hundreds of millions of CCs on file. All that is expected is they take all their current services and bundle it so the iPhone can be used a secure, card-less system for financial transactions. Even MC has acknowledged that it needs Apple to bring next generation transaction payments into the mainstream. This isn't Apple acting as a multinational financial service (i.e.: MC/Visa/Amex) but Apple doing what is does already to further strengthen its device sales.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Consider Apple has hundreds of millions of CCs on file. All that is expected is they take all their current services and bundle it so the iPhone can be used a secure, card-less system for financial transactions. Even MC has acknowledged that it needs Apple to bring next generation transaction payments into the mainstream. This isn't Apple acting as a multinational financial service (i.e.: MC/Visa/Amex) but Apple doing what is does already to further strengthen its device sales.

Then Apple can partner with Square to achieve similar results, instead of doing everything themselves.
Edited by patsu - 12/9/12 at 7:43pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Really? And yet Square Wallet and Square Register are available on iOS. The original Square credit card swiper was first designed for iOS devices. Nothing to do with Apple at all indeed.

That's not what I meant.  Square customers only have an ancillary relationship with Apple at best.  Besides getting the app (which is free) and buying an iPhone. they don't have any other real tangible link to Apple.  Heck, now with Android support, they don't need to be Apple customers at all.

 

Square itself is fairly independent from Apple and it needs to stay that way.  But Apple themselves don't really have anything invested in Squares systems either - other options are around and they even do it themselves.  

 

There is nothing in this for Apple except the headaches of being a payment gateway for other people's products.selling things that Apple doesn't benefit from.  When Apple sells something it benefits their customers much more directly. 

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post

Then Apple can partner with Square to achieve similar results, instead of doing everything themselves.

So you think it's better for Apple to not only forego a more secure, cardless system but to force a carded system that requires a dongle to be attached to the device for it to be used? You are certainly entitled to your opinion, hopes and dreams but none of that is how I see the future of financial transactions evolving (or in this case, devolving).

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why isn't Apple competing with or buying out Square?

 

Because Apple isn't Microsoft/Google: chasing every squirrel down every rabbit hole.

Apple says "no" more often than it says "yes" to doing something.

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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why isn't Apple competing with or buying out Square?

You are not the only one asking that very same question, and this is from Apr 29, 2012:

http://gigaom.com/2012/04/29/apple-squared-foursquared/

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post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Because Apple isn't Microsoft/Google: chasing every squirrel down every rabbit hole.
Apple says "no" more often than it says "yes" to doing something.

I don't see how that's the same as MS, Google, and Facebook overpaying for any startup that they get a whiff of. This is right in Apple's wheelhouse. The have all the parts already between iTS/App Store CC numbers, their Apple Store app for in-store purchases, and Passbook. This plays right into strengthening their ecosystem and increasing their sales. I don't think they need Square, but I didn't think Apple needed Lala and Chomp either so I threw that in there as a possibility they have some valuable IP that is worth strengthening their ecosystem and increasing HW sales.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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