Tis the season for gift cards. As consumers load up on stocking stuffers, Square is making it easier for small businesses customers to use gift cards during the holidays.
According to figures from TowerGroup and CouponTrade, the gift card market is estimated to be worth $100 billion annually. Square’s integration could help many local businesses — which might not normally have the resources to do so — take advantage of the busy season.
The mobile payment service now offers customers the option to buy digital gift cards through the Square Wallet app. Shoppers only need to search for one of the 250,000 businesses Square partners with, select an amount between $1 and $1,000, and enter in the recipient’s email address. A custom theme or message is optional.
Additionally, through the updated Square Register app, merchants can now accept gift cards from Square Wallet, Passbook, and printed QR codes. For iPhone and iPad, the gift cards are integrated with Apple’s Passbook so shoppers can redeem cards directly through that app.
This has been a huge year for Square, which launched a major partnership with Starbucks last month. It’s too early to tell if the added convenience will help boost the amount of gift cards purchased, but it seems unlikely that it would hurt sales.
If you’re interested in trying out Square for your business, visit the company’s website to learn more about Square Register and sign up for your free credit card reader.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.