Square, the Apple-like mobile payment service that’s all the rage right now, just integrated with Passbook in iOS 6. Before you get too excited, the integration only allows iPhone users to store and use the new gift cards that can be sent via the Square iOS app. Square lets you pay for your stuff with your bank credentials while Passbook still does not.
Now you can send a digital gift card from any merchant that partners with Square, and the recipient can choose to open the gift card in Square’s Wallet app, print it off, or use it in Apple’s Passbook.
An email will then be sent to the recipients, with a few different options for redeeming the gift card. The customer can use Square themselves, send the gift card to their Apple Passbook app on iPhone or just show a QR code at the store. The recipient can also print out the QR code from their email, if they want to skip using a smartphone entirely.
By working with Passbook, Apple’s digital wallet app for iOS 6 that stores loyalty cards, coupons and airline boarding passes, Dorsey said the company is hoping to turn even more consumers on to Square. He also said the gift card program will appeal to Square merchants, as it doesn’t involve additional issuance fees — just the standard Square processing fee.
Here’s a video demo:
Not only does this greatly simplify the process of sending and receiving gift cards, but it leverages Passbook. Square knows how to create a great customer experience, and I can totally see myself using this to quickly send a friend a gift card for Christmas.
Square also recently partnered with Starbucks to accept mobile payments, and the Starbucks iPhone app integrates with Passbook to process payments at the register as well.