When you think about the process of getting someone a gift card, it’s kind of ridiculous. You go to a store, you take out your credit card, pay for it and then hand it to a friend. That’s the gist of it, and it’s a slow process.
Today, payment service Square has introduced a new way to send gift cards, through its Square Wallet (or is it lowercase W now?) app. You can now go through all of the businesses that use Square to process payments, pick the right one for your friend or family member, and then purchase them a gift card of in amount of your choosing. Right now, this just works for folks in the United States.
Best part is you don’t have to go to that physical store and take out your credit card.
It just works.
Here’s a video about the Gift Cards product, which looks, feels and sounds very much like an Apple commercial:
The process couldn’t be simpler from within the app:
A week of cappuccinos for my dad. http://t.co/RSaYZCoJ—
Also, when someone buys you a gift card and you have Square Wallet installed, it’ll pop up in your Passbook in iOS 6. Clearly, Square works very closely with Apple, and this has to be the best implementation of Passbook that I’ve heard of to date.
As you know, the company recently raised a $25M mega-round of funding, led by their new partners at Starbucks. Square is now being integrated into all of the Starbucks stores in the United States. Gift cards from Starbucks are a hot gift, so think about how much money could potentially flow through Square’s payment infrastructure this holiday season.
If Square gets things the way it wants in the world, we’ll never have to carry cash or a physical credit card again. I honestly feel like this is a company that will go public soon or will be acquired by Apple. It’s just too huge of a vertical it is disrupting not to go onto huge things. Let’s not forget, Facebook is also diving into Gifts over at the big social network, so this should be interesting to watch. Is Twitter next? I hear they’re friends with that Dorsey guy that started Square.
At last check, the company is processing $10B in payments annually, not including the Starbucks partnership. Wow.
We recently witnessed an awesome integration of Square at an ice rink in San Francisco: