Forget those paper "Buy one, get one free" cards that customers tend to lose anyway. There's a better way--no hole-punching required.
Still handing out those “Buy 10 get the 11th Free” cards? Mobile payment start-up Square thinks it has a better way to reward customers' loyalty--no hole-punching required.
The San Francisco-based company announced software updates Tuesday to both its consumer app, Pay With Square, and its merchant app, Square Register. Pay With Square, which is available on iOS and Android devices, will let consumers keep track of multiple digital loyalty cards on their smartphones. Meanwhile, the Square Register app--a full point-of-sale system for businesses--will now give merchants the ability to keep track of and reward frequent customers.
"Square strives to make it easier than ever for businesses to get started and grow," Square spokeswoman Katie Baynes told Inc.com in an email. "Our new loyalty features on Square Register work seamlessly as part of the payment process, enabling merchants to focus on what matters most--the relationship with their customers."
The new program will store frequent buyers’ information right on the Register, including their names and photos. Plus, companies have the ability to design custom awards.
San Francisco food company El Porteño already uses Square Register at its kiosk in the city's Ferry Building. Employee Cody Johnson said the ability to "keep track of the customers who keep coming back" would be hugely helpful.
San Francisco Jeweler Emilio Sotelo is another Square customer, even though he keeps tabs on what competing tech firms offer too. “I was surprised it took PayPal so long to come up with a similar idea,” he said of PayPal Here, a credit-card reader the company launched in March.
So far, PayPal doesn't offer a customer loyalty features.
MAEGHAN OUIMET is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone. She covers technology start-ups and innovations from the San Francisco bureau for Inc.com. @MaeghanO