Square Updated With Gift Card And Passbook Support

Square Updated With Gift Card And Passbook Support

Don't look now, but Square is getting hip with Passbook. While Apple's Passbook feature remains mostly unused for many, devs and apps are slowly getting their act in order for compatibility. Now, the mobile payment provider has opened up support for both gift cards as well as Passbook, just in time for the holidays. The Square Wallet app has been updated with the changes, enabling users to "treat friends and family to local favorites with Square gift cards." You'll be able to redeem them via the Wallet app, Passport or plain 'ole paper. Using Square to run your small business? Hello, opportunity.

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I know i've said it before in another article, but i'll say it again.  Passbook just isn't ready.  It's a really great idea, and it works great if you're using it strictly for online purchases, but most stores out there aren't ready for it. 

  On my way back from my thanksgiving trip to Mississippi this year, I was driving back through Texarkana, Texas, when my daughter started throwing up all over the backseat of our car.  So I jumped on priceline, named my price for a 3-star hotel and got a sweet deal for the courtyard mariot.  We pulled in, it was super nice, they had touch displays up on the walls, a 24/7 cafe, and heck it only cost us $80 for the night.  I saved my hotel reservation on passbook, walked up the lady at the counter, told her I had the reservation on my phone, she looked at my screen, then asked me what name the reservation was under. 

  Maybe I just had a bad first experience, but the fact that the hotel supported the passbook app, but didn't use it, is just evidence that the companies either aren't training their employees, or didn't invest anything into the system, and would rather just lead you to believe your check-in process is going to be simpler with an app.

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It's going to take a while for something as complex as a passbook to become integrated in multiple aspects of society and spending money. As long as normal spending for things is working, there won't be as much of an incentive to train or integrate passbook support into a business, it's just an expense for a technology that isn't used by many yet. "Don't fix what aint broken" definitely applies here.

Not to mention unless a passbook application gets some serious funding and backing I'd be concerned about proper security and testing to prevent vulnerabilities and theft. If banks started rolling out passbook apps for their services I feel like that might be one of the best ways to get the ball rolling on this.

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Personally I was happy enough when I saw I could pay with my paypal account at various places.  Passbook just looks like new face on an already existing ticket.

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