Square, the mobile payment company that we’ve been following for some time now, has brought out a little something new for those users who are learning the value of the mobile payment application: their new Square Register application for iPad.
The Square Register app for iPad is out to pretty much change the way you take payments at a brick and mortar–or otherwise physical–store. It operates much the same way as the original Square system, with a small white plastic card reader that plugs into, in this case, your iPad. You then download a free app–the Square Register app–and use the card reader to scan a credit card for payment. You can then route the payment through Square’s systems, which in turn gets you paid and gets Square paid, as Square takes a 2.75 percent cut of each transaction it handles on your behalf. But a critical difference with the Square Register app is that this one also allows you to make and record cash transactions. From there, those using the Square Register app can both track and analyze store purchase histories, so you can discover exciting facts like the blue ties always sell better on Wednesdays, or people end up using double coupons pretty much every time you put them out.
And if you’re not already using Square Register, or just Square’s card reader services in general, you’re likely going to want to consider it. Basically, Square is out to replace the cash register. The director of products at Square, Megan Quinn, recently went on record as saying that POS–point of sale–as we know it is dead. And considering how easy it is to set up with Square, it’s not surprising that they’d think that. I remember setting up a credit card point of sale system, and using it. Frankly, easy was about the last word I’d use to describe the experience. But Square, by comparison, is indeed easy; light years easier than the alternatives, not to mention requiring less space, being eminently more portable, and even including built-in reports that you can use to plan your business.
Square is going to offer a whole lot of inducement to get you in the door, and considering what all they’re offering, you may want to take advantage of their offerings. It’s going to give your business some serious edge, and allow you to measure and plan for everything from your ordering to your loyalty plans. But that’s not going to be enough to do the job, of course–between getting people in the door and getting them to pay the check, you’re going to need some good quality cloud-based telephony systems, like find-me follow-me and digital fax receipt services, to ensure that you hold people’s interest long enough to get them to hand over the credit card for your Square reader in the first place.