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Square’s Card Case Wants You to Make a Purchase Hands Free

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It’s long been one of the mobile mantras that one day we’ll be able to walk into a store, make a purchase, and walk out without having to deal with cash, credit cards, etc.. It’s also a nightmare to hear some security analysts talk about it. Either way, there are innovations afoot in Near Field Communications to make this kind of thing easier. And then there’s Square’s Card Case approach.

You might remember Square. It’s the company behind those small credit card swipers that allow any business to operate anywhere and except credit cards for payments. Well, with improvements to the Square Card Case App and the geo-fencing that’s included in iOS 5, Square is hoping that you’ll soon be able to conduct a transaction with a business without having to reach for your wallet.

According to the info, here’s how it would work. When you walk within a 100 feet or so of a business location that you’ve allowed to access your info (this is opt-in) a tab opens up in the Card Case App that allows the merchant to know your presence. Once you decide on a purchase the merchant verifies you face to face in the store and merely by saying your name the transaction is complete. Your payment info would already be stored in the Card Case App.

Supposedly some 20,000 merchants have already signed on for this, which means it will take many more before this becomes something that we start hearing about as a trend. At the moment this is iOS only, but Square is working on this for Android as well.

While I can see the benefits of this kind of transaction, this is a concept in its infancy, as is NFC. I guess we’ll see how this plays out in the future.

I’m curious. How many GBM readers use NFC or Square either as a customer or a merchant? What are your experiences? Also, how many of you see this as something you would like to use?

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

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