Square’s new app turns Apple’s iPad into full-blown cash register (with video)

“Square, the startup that democratized credit-card transactions with its little plastic doohickey which allows any business (or anyone) to accept plastic as a form of payment, is at it again,” Harry McCracken reports for TIME Magazine.

“It’s built a new iPad application called Square Register that’s designed to let brick-and-mortar merchants use Apple’s tablet to ring up sales and run their business, even if they sell thousands of products,” McCracken reports. “Like the company’s less meaty existing iPad app, Register works both with the Square Card Reader — a card swiper that plugs into the iPad’s headphone jack — and with Card Case, a mobile-wallet app for the iPhone and Android handsets that lets you pay at Square-equipped retailers without even removing your phone from your pocket.”

McCracken reports, “As before, the app and Square Reader are free; merchants pay a flat 2.75 percent fee per transaction. According to Square, it’s now on track to process $4 billion of sales a year, up from $2 billion in the last quarter of 2011.”

Read more in the full article here.

26 Comments

    1. Nope. This is the best deal going for small operators. You can run the Square Credit Card reader from an iPod touch ($200). Compare that to a dedicated card terminal from a bank for $1000 and fees in the double digits. One small business I know of feels better off taking the risk of an occasional bad check over the assured cost impact of accepting credit cards using a bank terminal.

  1. My colleagues and I; developed “Orca” back in 1999 – based on Newton and Palm – software and hardware – for the restaurant industry.

    Inventory, order/food pickup plus payment processes streamlined with a PalmPilot. I can still imagine this product today – our efforts using a iPodTouch 8Gb would have been far easier and might still be a nice industry to do — however – empolyees at the AppleStores carry their devices to place orders with customers in-store too – so Square’s solution here is lookin’ like a Sponge Boy.

  2. The video is incomplete: What if the customer want to pay with cash or check? What about a printed receipt? Is the card reader plugged into the headphone jack is sturdy enough for commercial use???

    1. The ham-fisted customer never swipes the card, the employee does that. Plus, they are cheap. You can keep a drawer full of spares. Go down to Wal-Mart and look at one. They sell for $10, but Square rebates you the cost when you establish an account. This is yet another industry slain by Apple, it just isn’t getting much press yet.

    2. You do not HAVE to swipe either, you can enter the card number manually if you like, allowing things like mail and phone orders.

      It is a very cool solution..

    1. The comment was directed at the antediluvian credit cards industry in America that has refused to adopt the RFID credit card, presumably to keep selling terminals.

  3. Nicely done, but they will have to redesign that reader dongle to withstand (careless or very busy) employees. For commercial use it needs to be snugly molded to the iPad or even fastened permanently in place to discourage theft. Right now it protrudes badly, will be prone to getting bashed off or caught by a sleeve, and either leaving a stub in the headphone jack or sending the iPad crashing to the floor.

  4. Does any body knows any similar or pos system for ipad/iphone? I have a very small business and square is not available in puerto rico, even thou we r part of usa

  5. Can you give me some advice? I´m thinking about buying some AAPL, do you think this is a good time? Or shall I wait some weeks? Unfortunately never had enough free cash before… A longterm MDN-reader from Portugal

    1. I’m not an adviser, but if I had cash today, I’d be seriously consider buying. It’s down $12 today over China economic news, and I know it’ll be back to $245+ soon.

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