Square Inc., the company that lets small businesses and individuals accept credit and debit card payments with their phones, has developed an application that lets users buy and redeem gift cards from small merchants with their mobile phones.
A new version of the Square Wallet app, which works with Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad as well as devices running Google Inc.’s software, lets users buy and redeem gift certificates in amounts from $10 to $1,000. Square enables retailers to accept payments with a device that plugs into a smartphone or tablet.
This new version of the Square Wallet will make the company more competitive with traditional merchant acquirers and ISOs who also offer gift card programs for small merchants. With the cost for plastic running anywhere from 25 cents to 80 cents per card, an all-virtual option may be more attractive to merchants with small operations that don’t want to pay the cost for an infrequently requested or used item.
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