We’ve told you about the revolutionary mobile payment system for iOS, called Square. As a creation by  Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, Square aimed at bringing mobile payments to the iPhone and iPad in a way that’s never been done before.

As was unveiled yesterday, Square has introduced the next step in its path towards dominance of the mobile payment industry, called the Card Case. Instead of paying with a physical credit card or cash, why not just use an app and your own name?


“Here’s how it works: you order a coffee at a participating shop, for example, and when you swipe your credit card, the receipt is emailed to you. Leave your card on file with Square, and next time you visit the coffee shop you can browse the menu and pay with the company’s new app by pressing a button. They call it opening a tab, a high-tech homage to the pad-and-paper accounting that barkeeps, druggists and general store clerks were accustomed to many generations ago.”

Square has been around for awhile, and the startup has already shipped 500,00 of their Square card readers. As long as we’re talking numbers, the company also processed 1 million transactions in May, and currently completes a staggering $3 million in transactions a day.

Keep in mind that Square is totally mobile-based. It’s free iPhone and iPad app is the company’s bread and butter, and the whole goal of Square is to provide smaller merchants with the ability to process digital transactions easily on an iPhone/iPad/Android device.

The idea of a virtual card case for merchants and transactions on the iPhone is very appealing. Imagine walking into your local coffee shop, and instead of swiping your card or even pulling out your iPhone, you pay for your drink by simply stating your name. The person at the register can then add the fee to your Square tab after you’ve authorized that location in the Card Case app.

You’re obviously not going to want to use Card Case in many instances, but the concept sounds perfect for a place you visit often. Square hasn’t shared much info about expansion, but Card Case is now available in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and St. Louis.

Here’s an interview with Square’s CEO by Fortune about the Card Case and what it means for mobile payments:

The next iPhone has been rumored to have NFC technology for processing mobile payments, but this new venture by Square makes the proposition of NFC seem unlikely from Apple this year. Square already looks like it was designed by Apple, and the service works great. I’d be all for a buyout. Apple and Square have already partnered to sell the Square readers in Apple retail stores.

In the meantime, you can download Square’s free app and get started with processing mobile payments.

Who’s ready for Square on every iPhone this fall? Sounds like it would be a very interesting proposition for both companies.


  • james016

    One day the UK will get this and their card reader.

  • james016

    Hopefully I should add

    • Pete

      I think the problem in the UK might be Chip & PIN – a new Square reader might be required that will read the card chip instead of the magnetic strip.
      Needless to say I’d love to start using Square too!

  • Can’t wait for stores to start supporting this. 🙂 I hate carrying around 4+ credit cards in my wallet. I felt like George off of Sinfeld.

  • Painman

    The whole concept sounds really good, but what happens if the person behind you in the queue hears you pay by using your name? Does that not leave you open to paying for their goods for the next few weeks? What about your credit card company, do they think this is a sound way to pay? Will they reimburse you for fraud if you lose money through this app?

  • Art VanDelay

    “Imagine walking into your local coffee shop, and instead of swiping your card or even pulling out your iPhone, you pay for your drink by simply stating your name.”

    Imagine someone else using your name to buy a round of drinks for the whole store.

    • SourD

      Lets hope that your phone will have to be within a certain distance from the cash register or the store itself for the payment to process.. and/or ask for id?

      • Painman

        I don’t think it matters how close your iPhone is, there isn’t any NFC technology in them yet and this has already gone live.

        Perhaps ID could be used, but you might as well just stick your card in the slot and enter your pin if you still need your wallet.

  • Pete

    My thoughts exactly – how will this be secured? Sounds like a step back in security… For small payments I suppose name and PIN would be acceptable.

  • Preston

    The card case only pulls your name up for the merchant once you have succesfully logged into your card case account through your phone..which is ur own username and ur own password.. then you have to through the app initiate OPEN TAB…. that is your security process.. the same process that u use when logging into your online banking where all ur money is stored.. so no not just anybody can charge to your name… listen more and read more u may have many question answered