Square Wallet Out, Square Order In as m-POS Pioneer Tweaks Strategy (May 13, 2014)
Square, no stranger to experimentation, this week surprised observers by pulling its Square Wallet from the Apple and Google stores three years after its launch and introducing an order-ahead app for cafes and restaurants. With the new Square Order app, consumers may place their orders via smartphone at businesses that use its m-POS software, including a small number in San Francisco and New York that are among the first to offer the new service. Square is under pressure to drive fresh streams of revenue as competition in the m-POS arena intensifies. Last month Square added an order-and-pickup feature on the merchant side, charging 8 percent per transaction to participating businesses. Square’s usual fee is 2.75 percent for credit card transactions.
But Square has a method to its madness, and its rebranding underscores the company’s desire to break out of its identity as a payments company to emphasize creative new shopping and commerce tools, according to one analyst. Square Wallet’s core features remain intact within Square Order, including the ability for consumers to pay in person at small businesses by just saying their name. “There’s a lot of capability in Square Wallet that isn’t just going away,” Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst with Double Diamond Group, tells Paybefore. Consumers who already signed up for Square Wallet retain the same user ID and password for Square Order. “This shift by Square is an acknowledgment that consumers don’t look for new ways to pay just for the sake of it; they look for new ways to shop. And if the new shopping experience brings with it a new payment method, then they are on board.”
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