You can now send money via text message for free with Square Cash

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Square has released a big update for its Cash app this afternoon, bringing it to version 2.0. The app, first released in October of last year, facilitates the quick transfer of money from one user to another via e-mail, and today’s update makes the process even faster.

The UI for sending and contact screens has been optimized in Square Cash 2.0, making it easier to send money, and you can also now add notes to your payments. But perhaps the biggest addition in today’s update is the ability to send cash to anyone via text message.... Read the rest of this post here


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Square’s new chip card reader will make your payments more secure

Square's reader for chip-based cards

There's a good reason you don't usually see Square readers outside of the US: they're built to read payment cards with magnetic stripes, not the more secure chip-and-PIN cards that are common everywhere else. All that's set to change, however. Square has revealed plans for a reader that accepts the chip-based EMV format alongside stripes, letting shops handle credit and debit cards from around the world (and the US, once it catches up). The company will only start taking pre-orders for the payment device later this year, but it could be worthwhile for stores and customers alike. Besides the greater availability, it's much harder to clone a chip card -- you shouldn't have to worry about an unscrupulous clerk (or a clever hacker) stealing your credit card and going on a shopping spree.

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Source: Square (1), (2)

IFTTT’s recipe-powered automation now works with Square mobile payments

Taking a payment on a Square Reader attached to an iPhone

Consumers have been automating apps with IFTTT (If This Then That) for awhile by, say, backing up Instagram photos to Dropbox whenever they snap a photo. Now, businesses will be able to take advantage of IFTTT directly from the Square mobile payment app. For instance, rather than just yelling "Booyah!," a company can send out a company-wide congratulatory email after closing a huge deal. Similarly, a text alert can be issued to team members to follow up a customer refund -- all of which can be pre-programmed into IFTTT. It'll also work with services like Google Drive, Twitter and SMS, to name just a few. Hopefully companies won't abuse it -- we'd hate to see a tweet after buying a particularly sensitive item.

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Square to replace its digital wallet app with one that lets you order dinner

Square pulled its Wallet app from the App Store Monday in order to make way for something new: Square Order. With Wallet, you could check in to a restaurant and pay your bill using just your name. With Order, you can still pay, except now you can select your artisan grilled cheese while en route to the cafe down the street and complete the transaction on your phone, bypassing the line entirely. It's not just for restaurants either -- we took it for a test drive in February , where we purchased a scarf from Uniqlo. Square followed that trial with beta testing in several take-out restaurants in the San Francisco and New York, which is also where Order is launching today. If you don't live in either city, you won't be able to use the app for now. However, you can get roughly the same experience on the web through Square's recently announced product Pickup.

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Square introduces ‘Pickup’ for simple online purchases

Since its inception in 2009, that little white payment dongle has snuck into small businesses everywhere, making plastic a less costly proposition for the little guy. Today, it's taking another step toward small business ubiquity with "Pickup," which, fittingly, is a service that enables customers to purchase goods online for pickup in stores at the time of their choosing. The service gives sellers a free online market place and, as with its other products, the barrier to entry is nearly non-existent; the service is free to setup and the fee per purchase is 2.75 percent until July 1st, at which point it will go up to a standard 8 percent. Jack Dorsey's other baby is also enabling offline purchasing via its Register app for those gasp-inducing moments when the internet goes dead; a welcome addition for anyone who's ever had their dreams of an artisan cupcake crushed by faulty WiFi.

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Source: Square

Square reportedly in talks to sell after growing losses, held ‘informal talks’ with Apple

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Mobile payments startup Square is looking to sell its business, following growing losses and shrinking cash reserves, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Square, founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey in 2009, makes software, hardware products, and services, including Square Register and Square Wallet, for customers to pay merchants in an easier way.

Square has discussed an acquisition with Google in 2014, according to the report, with prior talks dating back to 2012. Additionally, Apple is said to have held informal talks with Square about a deal, interesting given the mobile payment rumors that have been circulating the Cupertino-based company. ... Read the rest of this post here


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Google wants to buy mobile payment startup Square, but CEO wants to sell out to Apple

Square Stand (teaser 001)

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s other business venture, the mobile payment startup Square, has a cozy relationship with Apple.

As a case in point, not only does Square develop for iOS first, Apple itself is happy to carry Square’s $9.95 credit card reader for the iPhone and iPad and the $99.95 Square Stand for iPad on its web store.

Moreover, some of Square’s talent comes straight from Apple, including director of engineering for the iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories, Jesse Dorogusker, who recently left the company to join Square.

After allowing Google to buy smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs back in January, pundits have observed that Apple should be wise enough to avoid repeating the same mistake twice. Be that as it may, Apple is said to have mulled an acquisition offer for Square.

The possibility of such a deal has been floated on Wednesday as rumors of both Apple and Google discussing a possible acquisition with Square continue to persist. Although CEO Jack Dorsey would reportedly prefer selling the company to Apple, not Google, a deal with Apple is wishful thinking for now…(...)
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Square’s Pickup app streamlines ordering take-out in San Francisco

If you thought ordering a new shirt from Uniqlo and grabbing it from the store 20 minutes later was rad, Square has something similar cooked up for your favorite restaurants. The outfit is demoing a new Android and iOS application called Pickup at a handful of San Francisco eateries, according to Priceonomics. With the app, Square is streamlining the food ordering process to a few taps on your smartphone: you choose an item from the menu, pay for it and then, well, pick it up. Given Square's popularity with small businesses (especially with competition from GoPago, GrubHub and OrderAhead), hopefully it isn't long before the outfit releases Pickup outside of NorCal.

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Source: Priceonomics, Square Pickup

Sorry, Microsoft: The iPad is more than ‘just a toy’

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Earlier this year, Microsoft debuted a new advertisement for its Surface tablets that depicted a young student looking inquisitively at the camera with the caption "Honestly, I need more than just a toy" plastered underneath. The implication here is that, in contrast to the Surface, iPads and Android-based tablets are just "toys" that are used only for fun and entertainment but that can't be used for "real work." Every day, however, we're seeing more examples of how iOS and Android tablets can, in fact, be used for "real work" even if they don't come equipped with Microsoft Office.

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Square introduces new card reader developed by Apple’s Lightning plug designer

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Square unveiled a new version of its Square Reader accessory today, which is used to input credit and debit cards into the Square app. It says the new Reader is roughly 45% thinner than its predecessor, and is more accurate at reading cards thanks to its new design.

But what makes the new device really interesting is who designed it. According to a report from Wired, Square’s new ultra-thin card reader was developed by a team led by Jesse Dorogusker—a former Director of Engineering at Apple and developer of the Lightning plug…(...)
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