Square launches iPad app; adios, cash register
Square is well-known in the payments business. Now it wants to replace a retailer's register.
The payments company has launched a new iPad application, called Square Register. Available for free in the App Store, the app is designed to replace a brick-and-mortar retailer's register, and can accept everything from credit card to cash payments.
According to Square, the application lets users input the many products they sell in their stores and assign prices to them. Those items can also be placed into a "favorites" list for easy access when customers buy a product. As with any register, employees can ring up the entire sale from the iPad app and accept payment from it. With the help of the Square card reader, attached to the iPad, retailers can swipe a card. Customers can then sign in the app to confirm their purchase.
A video that Square posted about the new application says retailers can also set up customer profiles. Upon doing so, customers would only need to give their names to complete a purchase.
For many retailers, sales data isn't readily available until a long receipt is printed out at closing. But with Square's Register, business owners can access analytics, including real-time sales data, from the browser. In order to print paper receipts, users must have two printers that work with the app. However, Square's Register also lets business owners text or e-mail a receipt to customers. A separate cash drawer also works with the app.
According to TechCrunch, which first reported on Register, Square is now handling $4 billion in payment volume each year. In October, the company said that it was processing about $2 billion in payments. Its growth has been due mainly to its ease of use, which allows retailers to process payments with the help of the company's card reader from the iPhone, iPad, or Android-based device. And its single charge of 2.75 percent per swipe is in line with older, competing services.
The company's success has become so notable that Virgin Group founder Richard Branson led a $100 million financing round last year. Back in January, Politico reported that the Obama campaign will be using Square mobile readers to receive donations.
Check out Square's video on its Register app: