Gift cards have been a big part of the holiday shopping season for many years, and mobile payments have just recently become more widely used by many consumers and small businesses. But now the two payment methods are coming together.
Square, the popular mobile payment system with over 250,000 business partners, has announced a gift card option for its Square Wallet App.
All users have to do is search within the app’s directory for one of the businesses Square partners with in any particular location, select the amount they’d like to purchase, and then customize the gift with a personal message or theme.
The photo above shows the page in the app where users can select the amount, recipient, and add any personal details. Gift cards can be between $10 and $1000 and can be emailed directly to the recipient, who can then store and redeem the gift cards directly within the app on their iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
But of course, not all consumers have smartphones and not everyone wants to use their phone in place of more traditional payment methods. For those consumers, Square does offer the option to print out gift cards with scannable codes that can be redeemed at local businesses.
This new option gives some small businesses the ability to take advantage of the gift card market that might not normally have the resources to do so, since providing physical gift cards can be costly and inconvenient. It also gives consumers that are becoming increasingly mobile more convenience and options when it comes to buying gifts.
PayPal offers a similar gift card option, but it is available primarily for online payments where as Square’s gift cards can be redeemed at a number of local merchants and other businesses.
Taking advantage of the gift card option requires no extra expenses or tools for businesses that already partner with Square.