Just before the holidays last year, I did an interview with a local business owner who uses Square as a major tool in running her company. If you haven't heard of Square, here's the deal: It's a handy-dandy app service that offers credit processing. So, you're an entrepreneur and you want to take credit cards? Square will hook you up.
But that's old news. The latest wrinkle on the service is Card Case, which was introduced last year but only recently got a huge update that makes it that much more impressive. It allows customers to pay via credit card without taking out their phone or wallet. Some criticisms of the app from 2011 said Card Case "is cool but can't replace cash registers," but I'm not sure that's the point -- I think it's an alternative to that for smaller scale businesses that don't want to invest in all that equipment just to stay competitive by taking plastic.
But, Square has a site up that explains it all, and while the company wouldn't give out stats per city, it was able to confirm there are more than 20,000 Card Case merchants in the US. So, yeah. It's kinda popular.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.