Square pushes user loyalty with app update

Square is updating its app to enable merchants to offer discounts to repeat customers, as the firm continues to broaden its offerings in the mobile payments space. Businesses will now be able to offer loyal customers money off or other deals at the point of sale, based on how many times they have shopped at the outlet. The update integrates enhanced location technology integrated with Apple’s recent iOS 5 update, and brings up the consumers’ information as they walk into the store with their smartphone. The move brings Square into further competition with Google’s recently-launched Google Wallet service, which integrates its NFC-based mobile payments platform with its daily deals offering, dubbed Google Offers.

Square’s app update enables merchants to decide when to offer discounts, utilising the purchase history provided, rather than offering third party or previously determined discounts. Square COO Keith Rabois believes this will be of much value to consumers than Google’s rival service, which he suggests is designed simply as a way to track consumer behaviour so Google can deliver targeted advertising, rather than bringing any direct advantage to consumers or retailers. Rabois recently revealed that Square is processing USD2bn worth of transactions in a year, serving 800,000 merchants, while Sir Richard Branson invested an undisclosed amount in the startup earlier this month as it moves to roll out internationally.

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