Category Archives: press

Payment provider Square scraps gift card service

I talk to Reuters about Square killing its gift card product less than a year after launch.

The gift card service “wasn’t a very well thought-out experience,” said Rocky Agrawal, payment and commerce analyst at reDesign Mobile. Agrawal said he tested the gift cards at several merchants and at least half of the businesses did not know how to redeem them.

Square may also have had trouble dealing with different state laws covering gift cards. In California, if a consumer has a balance of less than $10 on a gift card, merchants are required to refund that value in cash, according to Agrawal.

“Merchants didn’t know anything about that when I asked them,” he said.

Story.

Google’s Glass Guidelines Provide Clues to Future Bank Apps

I talk to American Banker about how Google Glass could be used in payments.

For banks, certain Glass apps have obivous appeal, says Rakesh Agrawal, principal analyst at product strategy consulting company reDesign Mobile. Two possibilities: fraud prevention and detection and real-time transaction alerts.

Agrawal says the app submission process could be a boon for banks. “I would consider that to be a good thing,” he says. “You don’t want phishers. If they [Google executives] weren’t checking submissions, it would be possible for someone to submit a bogus Bank of America app just to get people’s passwords.”

Story.

Facebook experiments with free Wi-Fi, for a price

I talk to APM’s Marketplace about Facebook and free WiFi

Facebook says its experimenting with a few local businesses to “offer a quick and easy way to access free Wi-Fi after checking in on Facebook.”

Rocky Agrawal, a consultant at reDesign mobile, suspects there’s more to this than good will.

“It’s a good way for Facebook to know where you’re at, they can deliver all sorts of new offers,” Agrawal says.

Story and audio.