Just in time for last-minute gifters (though curiously too late for the beginning of the holiday shopping season) Square has released new updates for its Square Wallet and Square Register apps.
On the Square Wallet side, the company has added a new gift card program that allows merchants to offer and redeem electronic gift cards. Square Wallet users can send their friends a gift card for any merchant that accepts Square Wallet. The gift card is stored in the recipient's Square Wallet. A video from Square below shows how the new gift card program works.
(A very smart bonus from this approach is that non-Square Wallet users must load the app to receive their gift card. That turns gift card senders into de facto brand ambassadors for Square.)
For merchants, offering gift cards has traditionally been a bit of a pain involving working with third party processors to provide, print and process the cards. With the Square Wallet gift card program, providing and honoring giftcards is seamless and automatic. It's just there.
Along with offering gift cards for Square Wallet users, Square has updated the Square Register app for merchants to make accepting gift cards easier. And that's not just gift cards from Square Wallet. The update lets Square Register merchants process barcodes from Square Wallet, Apple's Passbook and even printed QR codes.
The updates were sent out yesterday to iOS application users and are available through the Apple App Store. The video below shows Google Play integration as well, but no update for Android devices has been released yet.
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James Wester is a technology writer and blogger with over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications in the technology and payments sectors. Prior to joining MobilePaymentsToday.com as editor he worked as Director of Corporate Communications for Chase Paymentech and ran payment operations for AOL. James has a BA in English from Drury University in Springfield, MO and an MS in IT Management from the University of Virginia.