Square rethinks the register

March 5, 2012 | by James Wester

Square Inc. continues to update and improve its products for small businesses and blur the line between where "old fashioned" payments ends and the new world of mobile payments begins. This time the company is introducing a new Square Register, an iPad app aimed at replacing the traditional cash register and credit card terminal at brick-and-mortar stores.

Square Register lets small businesses set up a counter-top terminal using a standard iPad to handles payments, from credit cards using the Square credit card-reading dongle to proximity payments with the Square Card Case mobile wallet. (Square also offers a cash drawer and printer for dealing with something called "cash.") The app, which is already available in the Apple App Store, is free to download and install. Like Square's mobile POS product for smartphones, the registered merchants pay a flat 2.75 percent per transaction to use the app.

The company introduced a version of the Square Register last year when it launched the Square Card Case. But due to increased interest from brick-and-mortar stores, Square redesigned the Square Register to create a new app specifically for retail locations. The new app not only accepts payments but also offers a user interface designed specifically for brick-and-mortar retailers so it's easy to load items into the app. Plus, it offers retailers a host of other free "bells and whistles."

For instance, retailers now have access to basic transaction data like tax, tips and account deposits from anywhere they can access their Square accounts, meaning store owners can monitor their stores even when they're not there. They also have access to a nice array of analytics to look at sales by day or month or even look at transaction size.

Additionally, along with an easier integration with Square Card Case, Square Register merchants are automatically published to the Card Case directory, so customers can locate them. And when a Card Case customer comes into a merchant's location, the Square Register can notify the merchant.  

At its heart, the Square Register is all Square,  a simple app with one simple fee that offers  brick-and-mortar shops the ability to accept credit cards quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss and a clean design.

According to mobile payment analyst Cherian Abraham, the new register allows Square to narrow the gap between it and its bigger POS competitors and to provide a new baseline of what merchants will expect from POS equipment.

"With over 40,000 merchants now using Card Case, this further allows them to prove to the merchants that not only is its vision far beyond anything else we have seen at the point of sale, its rooted in the belief that now merchants should not have to make thousands of dollars in investments at the point-of-sale to get a sales and customer analytics framework," Abraham said.

A video of the applicaton in action is below.

For more stories like this, visit the POS research center.

Topics: Mobile Apps , Mobile/Digital Wallet , POS

James Wester / James Wester is a technology writer and blogger with over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications in the technology and payments sectors. Prior to joining MobilePaymentsToday.com as editor he worked as Director of Corporate Communications for Chase Paymentech and ran payment operations for AOL. James has a BA in English from Drury University in Springfield, MO and an MS in IT Management from the University of Virginia.
View James Wester's profile on LinkedIn

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