Are the days of paying for your purchases at the traditional cash register coming to an end? According to the CEO of tech startup Square, that's the way the world should be going. The company, headed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has developed an application for the Apple iPad, iPhone and Android-powered devices that turns the devices into point-of-sale terminals. The app allows businesses and individuals to pay with credit cards and track receipts and other data. Every user receives a free Square credit card reader in the mail, and the application is free to download via Apple's App Store.
The company accepts all major credit and debit cards, and Dorsey said at a press event in San Francisco today that it has delivered 500,000 of credit card readers, resulting in over 1 million transactions in May. Square also introduced Card Case, which enables iPhone and Android users to explore local businesses, view menus, track and store digital receipts, and open digital tabs to make instant purchases, all on their phones.
"We revolutionized the payment industry with the Square card reader, which makes it possible for anyone to accept credit cards on their phone," said Dorsey. "Now, with Square Register, we're reinventing point of sale with a beautiful, intuitive iPad app. Card Case goes beyond point of sale to transform the entire buyer-seller relationship."
Using Register, businesses can easily manage the items they sell, check daily transactions, update pricing, automate checkout, generate digital receipts and maintain virtual storefronts. Features include a location-based directory feature designed to help sellers be discovered by customers in their neighborhood and a Menus feature, much like a digital sandwich board, which enables local shops and restaurants to advertise current menus, prices, daily specials and the most popular trending items on customers' phones.
Similar to one-click purchases made popular by online retailers, the Tabs feature makes payments instant in the real world. Once a customer opens a tab on his or her phone, sellers can verify a customer's identity with a stored profile and photo on Square Register and approve the purchase with one touch. The company said Tabs eliminate the need for cash or credit cards at checkout. Card Case, a feature of the Square app for iPhone and Android, enables customers to access Directory and Menus, and open Tabs at their favorite merchants. Card Case can be activated through a text message invitation from Square after making a credit card purchase at a participating merchant.
Consumers can activate Card Case at one of the 50 currently authorized Square merchants in Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and the company noted Card Case for Android phones will be coming soon. "Cash registers and credit card terminals are relics of an expensive, complicated and impersonal commercial transaction system," said Dorsey. "With Register and Card Case, we're transforming everyday transactions between buyers and sellers into something special."