Square Adds Passbook Integration and Gift Cards

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    Square CEO Jack Dorsey today announced via Twitter that Square has added gift card capabilities to its iOS apps. The gift cards come alongside Passbook integration, which allows customers to send Square gift cards from local retailers and redeem them with Passbook.

    Both of Square's iOS apps, merchant and consumer, have been updated to reflect the new changes.

    Square Wallet, the consumer half of Square's payment system, gives customers the ability to purchase and receive gift cards from any retailer that uses Square Register to process payments. Many small businesses that previously didn't offer gift cards will now be able to via Square.

    Square Register, which is designed for merchants, lets business owners accept the gift cards using a QR code, Square Wallet, or Apple's Passbook.

    [​IMG]
    Square says the process is a simple one.
    With Passbook integration, iOS users don't even need to access Square Wallet, which greatly simplifies the act of giving and receiving gift cards. This update will likely add a significant boost to the $10 billion per year in payments that Square already processes, and it is also a huge boon for independent retailers.

    Both of Square's apps, Square Wallet and Square Register, are free downloads in the App Store.

    Article Link: Square Adds Passbook Integration and Gift Cards
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    ideal.dreams

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    #2
    This would be awesome if more than one local business used square in my area :p
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #3
    As a merchant, Square Register sounds interesting to me. Given the sheer number of payment swipe devices now (Intuit, etc), one wonders how many offer services like this to merchants.

    Rocketman
     
  4. macrumors member

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    #4
    There's like 15 near me, and I live in a pretty rural area.
     
  5. macrumors member

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    #5
    So that's what one of my customers brought in yesterday. She kept talking about Square and I had no idea what she was talking about. The only problem is I couldn't scan the dang thing, I tried multiple times. I can scan a gift card through our company's app but not through Square.
     
  6. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #6
    But the gift receiver needs Square Wallet for this to be received, right?

    That's going to slow things down, just like how no single 'SMS Replacement App' ever became halfway as successful as iMessage has. Having to call someone and say "install this thing so I can send you this other thing" is always a big hindrance.

    It would be nice if Passbook can grow to where it can just accept things directly from an e-mail...so I could send from Square and the receiver could just approve the e-mail and have it go to Passbook even if they've never heard of Square before.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    ideal.dreams

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    #7
    There's a Starbucks 3 miles away but everything else is like 20+ miles away from me. So looks like I live in a more rural area :p
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Mac Fly (film)

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  9. macrumors 68020

    jayducharme

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    #9
    I had my first Square transaction last month. The retailer spent about 20 minutes trying to get my payment to go through. I wasn't impressed. And that little swipe reader looked so fragile...
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

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    #10
    How long before Apple kills off Passbook. It looks like a disastrous failure to me. In the UK I can think one company who offer Passbook integration, and that's Starbucks. At the moment they are a very unpopular company over here. After that I'm stuck to think of another company that supports the service.

    If you use the App store and try and search for apps that offer the integration, there just isn't a search function there for this.

    To me it just looks doomed at the moment, no one seems to be clamouring to support this standard.
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #11
    Standard?

    Starbucks and all the airlines had these pages in their apps before this. Passbook just gathers them up in one place.

    Moving pages closer together is a "standard?"

    All those barcodes existed long before Apple thought up Passbook.
     
  12. viacavour, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    That's how it works right now. Passbook passes can be accepted from either your iOS/Mac mail client or your web browser.

    For Square's gift card service, I suspect you will need the Square client to receive the gift. In general, Passbook passes don't need any special iOS app or client to redeem/use. You use the built-in Passbook app.

    ----------

    The AppStore does not list all Passbook apps.

    Check the Passbook wiki page for a list of Passbook apps and services worldwide:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passbook_(application)
     
  13. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #13
    Then Apple's biggest problem is education because every time I read about Passbook it seems to work a different way.

    I'm pretty sure it's not actually changing every week which means that Apple has done a terrible job of explaining it.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    That's because it is used in many different ways. See the wiki link above for examples.

    Yap, and that too !
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It's been out for less than 3 months....... Do you expect it to be the end all thing this soon? please enlighten me on anything that was COMPLETELY successful, right out of the gate? Completely means not one person has a problem with it and they never have to fix anything with it
     
  16. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #16
    Unlikely to happen. They will keep it even if the only thing it's good for are their egiftcards
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

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    #17
    Thanks for arguing semantics, but I didn't know what else to call it. As it's a competitive/ alternative solution to NFS, then I chose the term 'standard', for want of a better description. It seemed to be Apples standardisation of a payment method for a handheld device, which brings together existing payment methods into one collative application. If this isn't standardising a payment method, or maybe I should have used the term 'organising', then kindly be helpful and come up with a better descriptive term :) Please.

    I'll conceded though, I don't know what to call it when searching an appropriate adjective.


    Thank you for the Wiki page, very helpful

    Three months since it's been in the wild, which is actually a fairly decent amount of time. I'm not sure how many thousand apps were out there on the iPad during this time period. And while Passbook is only 3 months old for consumer usage, it's been available for developers for a longer period of time. So seeing as there are very few companies currently supporting it, my interpretation is that it's not taking off very well. You might have a different interpretation, and that's fine, I just don't see it as being a success and wonder if it will be abandoned in 12 to 24 months.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #18
    Not all apps make sense for Passbook in its current form. Only eCommerce apps do.

    The most popular iOS app category is games. I think Apple should integrate Passbook with Game Center and iAd automagically. Passbook coupon sponsorship or referral would be another income stream for game developers, and another incentive to play games on iOS.

    Apple can easily flip the Passbook concept around in many ways on iOS. Too early to kill off.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

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    #19
    Well, the truth is only specific kinds of apps have any reason to use Passbook, other apps just tend to lag behind others in feature adoption. It's still fairly new.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

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    #20
    That's a fair point, and a good way of looking at it.

    I'd love to be able to use the app more, but I just can't find anything to use it for. I'd rather use it than a credit or debit card if I'm honest. I have a couple of store loyalty cards, and a cinema pass I'd like to use it for.
     
  21. viacavour, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Apps like Gyft and Lemon Wallet allow you to convert paper/plastic passes into digital Passbook passes. I converted my GameStop gift card into a Passbook gift card last month.

    For movies I will probably try Fandango next week.
     
  22. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #22
    I'm not arguing over the semantics of the word "standard." I'm arguing over the "Apple" part of your argument.

    Starbucks and many Airlines already had these scannable pages well before Passbook, so rather than alluding to it as Apple standard you should be calling it a "Coffee Shop/Airline Standard." (In fact, it seems the Starbucks Android app has the exact same feature so it's not even iOS-exclusive.)

    So were Apple to shut Passbook down, as you suggest, then those companies would just keep using them in their apps.

    My bottom line is, when you say Apple should shut it down, my question is, how? Just killing Passbook wouldn't do it.
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    Sydney
    #23
    NFC has been out for more than 2 years and no-one gives a crap about it. Passbook is out 3 months and it should be killed off? Nice business decision.
     
  24. macrumors regular

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  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    Am I the only one who finds Passbook incredibly confusing? It would make sense to me if I installed 'nodes' in it, for, say, American Airlines or whatever service I'm using. But the fact that I install separate apps and then it somehow works with those apps? Very confusing. It's like having a wallet that connects to a pocket full of loyalty cards rather than having them tucked away inside.
     

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