Payments processor Square updates apps

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:27pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 (Reuters) - Square, the mobile payment processing company, on Tuesday announced an updated software suite that includes customer loyalty features.

The San Francisco-based company, which earlier this month claimed to have registered 2 million merchants since its founding in 2009, develops software for business transactions on both sides.

Used together, "Square Register," a point-of-sale iPad app for merchants, and "Pay with Square," a smartphone app for customers, potentially eliminate the use of physical credit cards.

With the newest update, merchants can design first-visit deals and customizable virtual punch cards accessible to customers who enter the store with the Square app on their phones.

The ultimate goal, according to Keith Rabois, Square's COO and a former Paypal executive, is to offer merchants a customizable software package that could show customers menus and deals in what is effectively a store's own smartphone app.

Merchants "can have his or her brand etched onto a customer's phone," Rabois said in an interview. "We're giving them the effective functionality of an iPhone app so they can have their interactions with their customers."

Square, led by CEO Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder, said last week it was on track to process $6 billion in payments this year and is looking to enter overseas markets.

Former Salesforce.com executive Sarah Friar joined the company last week as a chief financial officer. (Reporting By Gerry Shih; editing by Gunna Dickson)