I'm often the annoying person in the checkout line who spends
four minutes digging out her credit card to pay for a $1.79 soda.
So when I heard that the Square Wallet app would allow me to use my
smart phone to pay for purchases
, I was eager to give it a try and hopefully keep from being "that"
person in the checkout line.
Up and running without tech support from my kids
Several of the farmers market stands that I frequent use Square
as a mobile credit card processing system, so at first I was
confused about the difference between Square and
. But after a few minutes of online research, I learned that
merchants that use Square for credit card processing could opt to
allow their customers to use a separate app to pay for purchases
with their smart phones. I was also reassured to read on the
website that the cashier would confirm my identity for security
purposes using the photo of me on their screen.
I quickly set up the free application, available for both
Android and Apple products, by entering my credit card information
and uploading a photo. Since I am not an overly "techy" person, I
was impressed that I didn't even need the help of 'tween kids as I
often do when it comes to my smart phone.
I began browsing through Square Wallet and was a little
disappointed to see that there were only a handful of merchants in
my town using the app. Several businesses in the next town over
were offering discounts for purchases made using Square Wallet and
so I made a mental note to try the shops in the near future.
However, I saw that my favorite coffee shop used Square and decided
that it was great time for a hot chocolate break. I added
Wake Forest Coffee Company
to my Square Wallet with a quick press of a button and headed out
of the house.
Paying without opening my purse
When I walked into the coffee shop, I opened Square Wallet on my
phone and clicked on the "Pay Here" button so that the cashier
would know I was in the store. After the cashier rang up my hot
chocolate, I told her to "Put it on Jennifer" as the app advised.
She found my name on her iPod Touch that was connected to the
register, punched a few buttons and completed my purchase without
me having to do anything at all. A few minutes later, I was happily
sipping my delicious cocoa and marveling at how
easy it had been to pay
for my treat.
But what do the merchants think?
I was curious what the merchants thought of Square Wallet and
talked with the owner of Wake Forest Coffee Company, Robert
Barneto. He told me that his coffee shop saved over $400 a month in
credit card fees by using Square to process all credit cards
transactions. Currently, only about six of those people each day
were now using the Wallet app to pay. "I really recommend that any
stores that use Square for credit card processing also allow
customers to pay with the Wallet. It really saves a lot of time in
checkout," Barneto said.
Next, I gave Jubala Village Coffee, another coffee shop nearby,
a call to see if they had a similar experience with the
application. Daniel Moore, one of the baristas, said that the
application was becoming popular with customers that over a dozen
people paid with Square Wallet each day with number of users
continuing to increase. Daniel raved about the app, both as a
customer and cashier, and told me how he finds it saves him a lot
of time when ordering lunch at the shop or one of the nearby food
My loyalty card is probably on the dresser
As someone who is always losing reward punch cards, I was
excited to hear that his shop also uses the loyalty card feature
provided by Square so customers earn free coffees based on their
purchases without having to keep track of key ring cards or punch
cards. "People love it because it gives them a chance to do a
normal activity in a new and different way. It really adds a fun
factor to paying," said Daniel.
After testing out Square Wallet, I completely agree with Daniel
and plan on using the app as much as I can. I think that my to-do
list for next week will also most definitely include trying out the
bakery offering a discount for Square Wallet customers.