Square removed the Square Wallet app from the Apple and Google app stores, but the company is launching several new services as it attempts to live up to its $5 billion valuation and IPO aspirations. Look out for new services from the company as it attempts to grow its customer base.
Square Wallet was Jack Dorsey’s startup’s big bet, launched three years ago, to allow coffee shop patrons and restaurant goers to use payment information stored in the app to pay for goods by checking in to a shop via the app and then simply giving a cashier their name at checkout. The theory was that cafe or restaurant patrons would find that method of payment easier than swiping a physical payment card. But today, Square is essentially acknowledging what has been clear for some time, that Wallet failed to attract the customer interest Square hoped it would. In its place, Square is once again trying to create a payment product that appeals to patrons of small businesses. This time, the pitch is that people who download the app can avoid waiting in line by ordering a beverage or food from their phone before arriving at one of the shops listed in the app. If there’s an option between having an order ready for pickup or walking in and waiting in line, who would possibly choose the latter? Square’s thinking goes. “Square Wallet provided a very magical experience but didn’t have a lot of the utility value,” Square’s Ajit Varma said in a recent interview.