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Mobile-payment startup unveils Square 2.2

Merchants can now identify and reward regulars, wirelessly print receipts and open cash drawers, and track sale history.

Square 2.2 has a new loyalty program that's letting merchants detect their top shoppers.

Square is on a roll (heh).

After announcing Richard Branson as an investor and revealing a new version of its mobile wallet called Card Case, it released the latest iteration of the original product today that converts iPads, iPhones, or Android phones into point-of-sale systems.

The original Square let anyone make credit card transactions with a Square card reader (free) and Square application. The new version, Square 2.2, places new emphasis on customer loyalty.

"This feature not only allows merchants to recognize their most frequent customers when they enter their store," a Square representative said. "But it also provides the ability to offer them discounts, which the customer will see reflected in their Square Card Case."

Square 2.2 lets merchants define who is a "regular" on their own terms. It could be someone who comes daily, or someone who has made 10 visits over the last month. The merchant is notified if a person is a "regular" as soon as he or she enters the store, based on geolocation technology transmitted from smartphones. Merchants can then opt in to provide discounts (based on number of visits or amount spent) to their regulars.

Square is also now offering tipping options that appear on the customer's signature screen. The feature will come in handy, since it seems that the bulk of businesses using Square in San Francisco are coffee shops and bakeries.

The latest version of Square integrates wirelessly with existing cash drawers and receipt printers. The cash drawer opens when the merchant taps "tender," and receipts are printed with the merchant's address and transaction itemization. (Square used to only offer text and e-mail receipts.)

Square 2.2 is also helping merchants track sales history, resend receipts, track transactions, and provide refunds.