A few weeks ago I bought a few pizzas with some co-workers from Pi Truck DC (incidentally: surprisingly good, authentic deep dish pizza, especially when you consider it comes from a food truck). I paid with my credit card which the cashier ran through a Square dongle on an iPad. It sent me a receipt by SMS which included a link I followed on my iPhone to activate my Card Case account. Now, when I open the Square App on my iPhone, I have a little circular button on the top left that flips the screen around to show my cards:
This morning, waiting for the crosswalk to change on the corner across from the coffee shop, I opened up my Square app and tapped on the card for Chinatown Coffee Company. There was a button for me to start a tab. (As a security feature this only works when you’re near the store. You can see in that I was too far away for the button to light up when I took the screenshot below.)
I walked into the store and ordered my tea and scone, and told the cashier that I’d opened a tab. He tapped a button on his iPad and it showed a list of all the customers with an open tab, including my name and photo (taken from my Square account). I never had to hand him my credit card, though Square says that for large purchases you’d have to enter a PIN for security.
To sum up, to pay for my food, I:
- Tapped one button to stat a tab,
- Told the cashier my name.
That’s it. Very neat. Is this all that much better, or even easier, than pulling out a credit card? I’m not sure. But Square emailed me a receipt so I didn’t have any useless paper to throw away. That was nice.