Square and Mobile Phone Payments

Here is an interesting take on Square.  Sync Payments has the BEST MOBILE PAYMENTS SOLUTIONS for your business. And now, they are free to St. Louis businesses and to merchants around the country.  Now take payments on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and even on other phones with our Touch Tone Capture solution (NO app or NO terminal required)!  Contact us today! Below is a nice post from Clearent’s Jeff Zimmerman.  Learn more about mobile payment solutions at http://www.syncpayments.com/products-services/mobile-payments/

I’m guessing most of you have seen the extensive press coverage that  positions Square and its mobile wallet, Card Case, as being the best  merchant service to hit the industry in quite some time. So far there’s  only one local restaurant here in St. Louis that supports Square and  Card Case – the Pi Pizza Truck, but I just had to experience it for  myself.

When Card Case was first announced, I checked out the list of local  merchants and decided to pay them a visit to see how it works. When it  came time to pay for my lunch, they handed me an iPad and asked me to  swipe my card. I then entered my mobile number on the screen and was  soon sent an invitation via text message to install Card Case on my  iPhone. They told me I wouldn’t be able to use Card Case on my first  visit, but would be able to do so the next time I visited Pi.

I recently had the opportunity to go back. In my research about  Square and Card Case, I had found that you can “open a tab” at a  merchant when you’re nearby. I pulled into a parking space and then  opened the Square app on my phone by selecting the Pi icon I setup on my  first visit. I then clicked “start tab.”

After placing my order for the delicious “Southside Classico” deep  dish pizza with Italian sausage, I told the cashier I wanted to pay with  my iPhone. He opened a screen, saw my picture next to my name, and  clicked on my name and that was it. I looked down at my phone to see  some sort of confirmation of my purchase, but nothing happened. However,  I was able to find a record of the transaction under the History area  while playing with my phone during lunch.

As I see it, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of Square and Card Case:

Pros:

  • I was able to pay for my pizza without pulling out my wallet!
  • I didn’t have to hold my phone up to a barcode scanner, etc. or tap it against any kind of device.

Cons:

  • I wasn’t able to use Card Case until my second visit to Pi.
  • I never received any sort of confirmation that the transaction  processed, which made me wonder if I needed to check with the cashier.
  • Yes, it was very cool to pay with my phone, but it took just about  as long – if not longer – to do so versus paying the traditional way  with a card.

Many of you are probably wondering if my experience gave me some  insight into the future of merchant services for small business. Well,  using Square with an iPad seems like a good solution for a pizza truck  and other mobile businesses. However, I’m not sure how practical it will  be for the rest of the merchant services industry. Perhaps that’s why  Pi’s brick-and-mortar locations use a typical merchant account and POS  software.

Now for mobile wallets, in order for these to really take off, there  needs to be value for the consumer beyond the typical payment  transaction. For example, if Pi was able to offer mobile coupons in my  mobile wallet, I might feel differently. When I asked the cashier if  many customers had been paying with Square and Card Case, he said “no.”  But it’s no secret that mobile payments are in their infancy, so we’ll  undoubtedly see some pretty significant advancements in the near future.

Have you had the chance to use Card Case or any other mobile wallet? I’d like to hear about your experience.

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