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'Square' Articles

Coachella 2016 Announces Apple Pay and Square Support, Exclusive Prize Deliveries With iBeacons

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival recently announced a partnership with contactless payment company Square, letting attendees at the outdoor event pay for merchandise and food with the help of Square's new NFC and chip card reader (via AppleInsider). Launched late last year, the compact device lets any small business -- or any vendor at Coachella -- adopt contactless payments with support for services like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, and even accept payments through chip-enabled credit cards. According to Square's blog, the company will be supplying "every vendor" with the Square Reader, allowing for simpler payments of food, drinks, and festival memorabilia, or easing the pain of anyone who might forget their wallet. With just a tap of your phone or Apple Watch, you can pay for everything from pizza to beer to festival merch. An added plus: contactless payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are way faster than credit card payments (not to mention cash), so you can check out quickly and get back to the music or your beer. Apple has always been a proponent of Square's payment accessories, and began selling the NFC reader within Apple Stores earlier in February. Coachella is also continuing support for iBeacons during the festival, which it began implementing in 2014. The location-targeting technology was first used to send push notifications when attendees were in certain areas of the festival and give them info on artists and vendors. This year, iBeacons will send out "Surprise and Delight" rewards to those who sync an

Apple Now Selling Square's New NFC Reader for Apple Pay and Contactless Payments

Square has announced that its new NFC reader that enables small businesses to accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other contactless payments can now be purchased from Apple online or in U.S. stores for $49. The reader is compatible with NFC-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone 6 or newer, and contactless EMV chip debit and credit cards based on technologies like American Express ExpressPay, MasterCard PayPass, and Visa payWave. The small square-shaped reader functions like other NFC-enabled payment terminals, allowing users to wave an iPhone, paired Apple Watch, or contactless EMV chip card near the reader for a few seconds to complete a purchase. The NFC reader, which connects wirelessly with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, also works with EMV chip cards that are inserted for Chip-and-Signature payments. Square includes a magstripe reader in the box for accepting traditional swipe payments as well. Apple Pay is accepted at more than 1 million locations in the U.S., but its early rollout has mostly been limited to larger franchises. Square's new NFC reader, and similar products, will help expand Apple Pay to smaller businesses across the

Square Launches NFC Reader to Bring Apple Pay to Smaller Businesses

Mobile payments company Square today announced the launch of its new NFC reader within 100 small businesses around the country, letting stores who previously were unable to accept Apple Pay -- due to the lack of a required contactless reader -- begin supporting the service (via USA Today). The small square-shaped reader will act like all other Apple Pay-accepting terminals, letting users wave an iPhone or Apple Watch near the device to complete a purchase. "Until now, technology like our new reader has been out of reach for local businesses," said Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square, told USA TODAY via email. "Now Square sellers across the country can quickly and easily accept the new forms of payment that are crossing their counter tops." Business owners can buy the Square reader for $49 to begin allowing customers the option to use Apple Pay in their storefronts. With the recent surge in popularity of chip cards, touted as being a safer and more secure physical payment alternative, the reader also has the option to accept chip cards in a small slot located on the side of the device. Square initially announced incoming support for Apple Pay last November, with no real hint as to what the device would be. The company then announced the Square reader during WWDC earlier this summer, confirming its NFC and chip-reading capabilities would bring the success of Apple Pay to businesses and merchants who as of yet hadn't had the chance to support the service. Merchants interested in adopting Apple Pay can visit Square's official website to reserve their own NFC

'Square Cash' Introduces Apple Watch App For Easy Money Transfers on the Wrist

Square today announced that its money transferring app "Square Cash" is making the leap to Apple Watch, allowing users to make and receive money transfers on Apple's new wearable device (via TechCrunch). The original iOS and Android app allows users to send money to family and friends for free (business transactions are charged a 1.9% fee) by linking a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover debit card within the app. The company promises a more streamlined money exchange with the new Apple Watch app that prioritizes favorite contacts and presents users with accept or deny transfer messages right on their wrists. After choosing a contact on the app's home screen, users can input their desired amount using a combination of six values: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and $100. Square also lets users collect money from others without the need of doling out personal information they're only comfortable with family and friends knowing. Called a "Cashtag," the service essentially lets each user claim a unique username -- all beginning with a "$" -- and share it with the person from which they want money. Those with the Square Cash iOS app already installed -- and automatic downloads turned on -- can expect to see the Apple Watch app on their smartwatch starting today. Everyone else can download the app for free on the App Store [Direct Link].

'Square Dashboard' Gives Businesses Ability to Track Sales in Real-Time

Square today launched a new app called "Square Dashboard," which aims to provide business owners with complete overviews of their businesses thanks to real-time data read-outs of various sales and analytic figures (via TechCrunch). The app sees Square's continued expansion away from its simple start as a third-party payment processor, and into a more widely used enterprise-focused software company. The app will allow business owners to track the sales figures of their business, and is even able to distinguish between individual locations for a franchised business. Users will be able to set dates and goals to meet, and compare items for sale, categories, and gross sales. Thanks to the app's ability to go back and see sales from previous weeks, months, and years, business owners can more easily track their busiest seasons or discover the cause behind a bump or decline in profit. Speaking with TechCrunch, Sidecar Coffee owner Andy Fuchtman noted the new app succeeds in keeping him up-to-date on the daily goings-on of his business, and even provides useful glimpses into the most popular items on sale at the shop. I use the data to help me build the schedule, to see if my ideas for the shop are working, and to help me understand the identity of my business. For example, it turns out that vanilla lattes were among our top five selling items almost every day this spring so I had my staff make and taste a vanilla latte every time they started their shift. I tried a cappuccino happy hour to promote our favorite drink to make, then I watched to see if it worked. Business