Square has removed its cloud-based Wallet app from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores, apparently to make room for a new app called Square Order.
Square Order, which has been made available to iTunes users and as a beta to Google Android users, allows consumers to place orders ahead of visits to merchants in New York and San Francisco. Square has been testing this app since at least February, and it introduced a similar order-ahead function to Square Register, its app for merchants, in late April.
Square did not immediately respond to an inquiry from PaymentsSource about Square Wallet's disappearance (the Square Wallet app is no longer listed on either app store). Square is shifting its focus to Square Order because Square Wallet had less utility and did not resonate with consumers, the San Francisco company told Re/code.
Square Order particularly positions the mobile payments company for more play within restaurants and coffee shops, where patrons already place orders ahead by phone. Many of Square's rivals are aggressively pursuing restaurants, and Square was reportedly in a bidding war with Google for the Appetas restaurant website platform, according to TechCrunch.
Square Wallet evolved from an earlier app launched in 2011 called Card Case (and later called Pay with Square), which allowed consumers to store a credit or debit card with Square after using it at a Square merchant. Thereafter, a consumer using Square's app would only have to "check in" through the app when visiting the merchant's store.
Square has demonstrated a willingness to remove features that have not performed well, though typically these have not been as long-lived as its Square Wallet app. In June 2013, Square eliminated a digital gift card service it had launched about six months earlier. Square also introduced a flat monthly fee in August 2012 as an alternative to its per-transaction fee, but eliminated the monthly fee by February 2014 after merchants found its conditions too limiting.
PayPal's mobile app also functions the way Square Wallet did. Users of either app could alert merchants to their presence by "checking in" upon visiting a store, and the merchant would see the shopper's photo on the merchant-facing app for authentication. Though PayPal's version had a slow start in an early test at a New York film festival, PayPal has recently expanded the feature to the U.K. and Canada.