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As if getting rid of cash and plastic cards wasn't enough, Square has announced that it plans to get rid altogether of that arm movement of holding up your phone. The vendor said it is working with Starbucks to automatically detect your smartphone via GPS when you walk into a store, and then connect with the app.
When you arrive at the counter, your Square identification will appear on the register, ready to be charged once you give your name. No effort required.
We asked Current Analysis' Avi Greengart if mobile payments are beginning to take off.
He answered that the technology is "gaining traction very slowly," but added that the biggest question is whether consumers want it.
"What are the consumer benefits," he asked, that outweigh using a piece of plastic? Greengart noted that, although it remains to be seen, those benefits could include "speeding up payment" via phoneless, GPS payment of the kind that Square is developing, or integrating the wallet with retailer-specific coupons, such as in Google's implementation.
With these benefits, he said, walking into a participating retailer could make you feel so special and welcomed that "you feel like you just walked into Cheers."
Posted: 2012-10-20 @ 12:49pm PT
Great, now perhaps Verizon will finally unblock installation of the competing Google Wallet application for Samsung Galaxy S III owners, though I've already sent my complaint to the FCC about this practice that seems to violate the rules of their block spectrum purchase.
Posted: 2012-10-19 @ 3:11pm PT
I like the wallet payment, but the GPS method, I would think, would open us up to being charged wrongfully. Let's say I pick up a mug at Starbuck's to admire it, but then put it back down. Would I be charged accidentally for it?! It will be interesting to see how this technology evolves.
Posted: 2012-10-19 @ 2:30pm PT
Being forced to use isis on tmo really gives me a bad taste. I would use Google wallet right now if my carrier wouldn't block it so that I will use theirs. Seems unfair to me.
Posted: 2012-10-19 @ 2:20pm PT
I wish people would stop calling ISIS a Google Wallet competitor. With Sprint being the only major carrier that is not blocking the application, you can't even call it competition.