Square Adds Some Polish to Its Payment Solution, but Some Retailers May Want More

Mobile payments provider Square has added a couple new features that won’t require retailers to completely change the way they are doing business.

For one, the company’s iPad software will now work with existing hardware, including cash drawers and receipt printers.

That means, for instance, when the merchant taps “tender,” the physical cash drawer will pop open so change can be given.

It will also improve the way it tracks sales history and provides transactions. But it stops short of integrating with outside software providers, like Intuit’s QuickBooks, which many small business owners already use to run their accounts.

Other improvements center on consumer loyalty. The latest update, called Square 2.2, will enable merchants to designate how many visits it takes to become a loyal customer. If it’s 10 visits a month, for instance, merchants can give customers a discount as soon as they walk through the door and use the accompanying Square Card Case on the iPhone or Android.

So far, the company’s meat and potatoes have been with small merchants that were not accepting credit cards before — and likely hadn’t already sunk thousands of dollars into registers and other hardware.

With enhancements like these, it’s conceivable that it will be able to move upstream to larger retailers, who won’t have to start running their businesses differently in order to use Square’s methods. But it may still have a way to go before it enters the mainstream.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus