Gifting is Made Easy With Square’s Digital Gift Cards

Published On December 28, 2012 | Tech Business

Square has taken the retail world by storm, first with its credit card reader that you can easily install on your tablet, and now with virtual gift cards that the company hopes will become more popular. This is why Square unveiled the new development just before the holiday shopping season.

The first week of December brought with it Square’s electronic gift card service. Of course, gift cards have worked in the same way for quite some time. You go to the store or head to a website to make the purchase and then a physical card or electronic code lands in your loved one’s hand or email inbox. As it becomes easier to send money electronically from a variety of devices, the gift card process has lagged behind.

You need to have the Square Wallet app installed on your phone, and the process is similar to that which businesses use when relying on apps to process customer orders. Choose the store and card amount, then specify the recipient of your gift card. You can choose a custom design with the app. By default, gift card notifications arrive in your recipient’s email inbox. However, the Square service will also automatically notify anyone who also uses it when you’ve purchased a gift card for them, which makes it pretty convenient.

Square’s gift card service works especially well with Apple’s Passbook, a wallet solution. The two companies have always worked closely together, so this comes as no surprise. In addition to this, Square has recently partnered with Starbucks, and you can expect the coffee giant to work easily with Square’s card and payment systems.

The company is really stressing how you can use this service to purchase gift cards for neighborhood locations, but functionality is limited to places where consumers can pay with Square Wallet.

Of course, Square gift cards offer another way for small businesses to attract consumers who would have otherwise passed up those stores for larger names that have a more streamlined gift card process. There’s not much word on the company about how businesses use Square’s gift card, but companies that already use Square Register wouldn’t need an additional gift card service with the advent of the electronic gift card.

The main drawback of this approach, however, is that Square still isn’t universally accepted. While Square has done some great things, it’s definitely not for everyone. Those people who are less technologically savvy or experienced may prefer a physical gift card, which can also be reloaded. If you’re already heavily invested in Square and live in a location where it’s feasible to use such a service, gift cards might be the logical next step. Square advertises how all you need to do is step up the register and let your name be known as it shows up on the cashier’s tablet or computer when using Square.

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