Square has been fiddling with the concept of the basic retail transaction for years, but lately it’s taken a keen interest in location and proximity tools to help streamline and trigger purchases. The basic idea is to use your location relative to a merchant or a potential payee as a context for your transaction, whether you’re ordering a cup a coffee or splitting a tab at a restaurant.
On Wednesday Square launched a new feature on its Square Order app that makes heavy use of geo-fencing. You can place a standing order for your morning coffee and bagel at your favorite cafe, but instead of picking it up at a set time everyday, your proximity to the coffee shop triggers your order. When you’re five minutes away from it, you cross a geo-fence that sends an alert to the coffee shop telling it to start brewing your mocha latte.
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