You might not have heard about Card Case. It's not the most popular of Square's innovative services, but it's worth just as much attention for the average consumer. Now that it's getting a facelift, it's a good time to revisit the concept. Pay With Square (as it's now known) is an app that allows you to create and maintain tabs at local businesses by simply giving the retailer your name.


To answer your first question, no there's not a lot of places that support this payment method just yet. However, the app does have a built-in directory of the places that do support it, which is handy for new payment methods. You can also elect to auto-start tabs, if you want to completely minimize the effort exerted at the register.

square1 square2 square3

Of course, the only downside to being able to tell a cashier to "put it on Ravenscraft" is that if you happen to have any doppelgangers in your vicinity (or if you leave auto-open tabs on for the places you frequent), then you're putting an awful lot of trust in the ability of retail employees to recognize you by the photo you upload to your Square account (which is mandatory as it is used as a form of ID). It'd be nice to see some of the more public establishments implement a PIN or codeword or something that makes it at least a little more tangibly secure than just trusting confusion won't naturally happen (fun fact: it always does). Still, the chances that someone who looks like you, knows your name, and shops at the same places as you is pretty low.

Hit the widget below if you want to get started looking all fancy to your date.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Kimberly

    That would be great!

    I can now simply just give someone else's name... and they will have to pay my bill.


    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That's not how it works - there's a verification step - your mugshot.

      It's basically no different in idea than opening up a tab with your card, except far more convenient. With a regular tab, you can just give the bartender a name of someone with an open tab, and they'll throw your drink order on there - with Square, they see the photo of the tab's owner, which is already a huge improvement.

      • Guest

        > It's basically no different in idea than
        > opening up a tab with your card,

        Is it *EXTREMELY* different than having a physical credit card.... card number... matching signature... credit limit... driver's license, etc.

        > except far more convenient.

        Far more? Seems like about the same to me. What's the extremely hard part? Showing your card credit? Too much effort? Too tiring?

        Let me know where you are having dinner tonight. I'll be there 30 minutes before you... for my free meal.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          So again, you show that you have no idea how Square works or you choose to ignore it completely.

          First of all, you need to open a tab yourself - why would you open it 30 minutes before you get to the restaurant? You can, if you're a total moron, of course, but you wouldn't do that. Nobody would.

          Second, Pay with Square forces you to have a photo attached, which is how the verification is done - not some outdated signature matching, which not only nobody verifies anymore, it's also easy to fake if you steal a card by just copying what's on its back.

          So unless you're my twin and happen to be in the same location I'm at without the bar keep noticing there are 2 of us, good luck to you, sir.

        • Freak4Dell

          You don't actually think signatures are more secure than pictures, do you? The back of most of my cards aren't even signed...I've never been asked to show the back of my card. I have been asked for my ID, but that's what the picture verification is for on Square. If it's linked to your credit card, there's your limit right there, or maybe there's a way to set Square's own limit, too.

  • Guest

    That's ok... sure there will be an awful lot of fraud... but everyone will just pay a little extra to make up for the millions in loses.

    Is it *REALLY* that hard to scan your phone's screen... or some kind of physical proof other than "I just say my name is Fred".

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      But why if you don't have to? Why hinder innovation just for the sake of being afraid of something new? What's the benefit of having to pull out your card or your phone - in this case they're no different - vs not having to do anything?

      "sure there will be an awful lot of fraud" - that's based on no statistics at all, but understand the reaction - people are just as afraid of NFC payments, even though they're far safer when done right.

      This is no different than opening a tab at a local bar or coffee shop with your card, except there's now your face attached to it automatically. Someone can overhear your name in either case, but in one the bartender will have your mugshot, in another - they'll have to remember whether you were the one who opened the tab or not. In both cases, someone can say they're with you, and it's up to the bartender to verify that, so both methods have flaws. Either way, Square has an inherent advantage - it's more automatic, more frictionless, and more secure, at least on the surface.

      • Guest

        > "sure there will be an awful lot of fraud" - that's based on no statistics at all,

        Do you always wait until *AFTER* those first few millions of $$$ in fraud occur... before taking action?

        Wow. Remind me never to hire you in our security dept.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Great comeback - maybe you should come back after reading anything at all about how what we're talking about works.

        • Ryan

          Seriously, do you never try anything new? If you are always afraid of what could happen then you'll be stuck living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement of the house half a block down the street from Jerry's Bait shop.
          You know the place

  • spydie

    No dummy, unless your face matches their picture!

  • Guest

    > people are just as afraid of NFC payment

    Huh? This has absolutely NOTHING to do with NFC at all.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Who said it does? I said the baseless knee-jerk reaction is the same as a lot of people who didn't understand how NFC worked had with it.

  • Guest

    > No dummy, unless your face matches their picture!

    And I'm forbidden from sending in someone else's picture? or my picture? or anyone's picture?

    "Digital photography" isn't proof of anything these days. This is NOT 1970.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      OK, so what's your point? How is this applicable to paying with Pay with Square? So you have my photo, now what?

      I'm the one in control of what photo shows up on my Square account attached to my credit cad, not you. Have my photo, please, but what use is it going to be?

      • Ryan

        Right, if anything that's just another benefit. I control the account. If we are doing an "I'll buy if you fly" as my dad always called it I can simply open the app on MY phone, snap my friend's picture, change it on my account and they can pick whatever I just paid for.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Guest/Kimberly/Vicky, using different names to comment? Why bother?

  • http://www.truefreethinkers.org Jonathan

    Wow I've never seen trolling on the AP site before! It's ludacris! Good article. (Don't feed the trolls, or they get hungrier)

    • http://verb0ze.net verboze

      LOL @ it's ludacris XD. Agree with you, this is the first troll I've read on AP.

  • wolverineguy55

    I'd rather Google Wallet, which I have used with my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I like the idea of using my phone and entering a pin number.

    I don't know how convenient this will be in the long run. I think it would only make sense to use it at places you frequent often where the employees know you.

    As stated in the article, I question the ability of some people to make facial recognition. Some people are good at it and others are not. I think it could become as unreliable as signatures because a cashier may not really pay much attention and just progresses to next step of the transaction automatically. I hope they give you the option to remove a tab ,so if you notice a place that doesn't really check you can remove it.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

    I admit, I haven't exhaustively looked into the details, so maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and you actually know what you're talking about ;)

    Everybody here seems so concerned with the possibility of fraud perpetrated by other customers...but I'm seeing several ways in which this will encourage fraud by the businesses themselves. This screams for small businesses to take advantage of loopholes and even for wait staff to get creative with self-tipping.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I'm guessing the same reason they wouldn't do this to a credit card processor - if there are complaints about fraud, Square will ban them and statistically, it shouldn't happen so often that it hurts Square's business model. Either way, they should eat the charge.

      I *am* curious to see how tipping works in person and whether it requires my confirmation.

  • Freak4Dell

    Doesn't really sound like something I would really use (but then again, I wouldn't really go out of my way to use NFC payments, either), but it is a cool concept. I guess Square figured they had to release something to keep PayPal from taking over in their main area of expertise.

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Sounds similar to TabbedOut

    Hey Square! How about providing a map, or list of locations near me, that accept your method of payment so I know that I would even consider installing your software and going through the sign up process.

  • Margaux Panlilio

    Square will soon have a real competition (not with paypal!) with mPowa. I just checked their website http://www.mpowa.com and square just has to watch out!