For Some Businesses, Square Register Can Replace Traditional Point-of-Sales Tools

  • ---Shares

For Some Businesses, Square Register Can Replace Traditional Point-of Sales ToolsThe mobile-transactions startup that inspired many entrepreneurs to ditch their credit card terminals is now looking to grab even more of the small-business point-of-sale market. San Francisco's Square, which was co-founded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter, intends to bake more big-company features into a new app that turns the Apple iPad into a virtual cash register.

The new app, called Square Register, doesn't just accept payments, as its Square card reader does. Rather, it can stand in as a complete point-of-sale tool, working with existing free Square accounts and its iPhone and iPad credit-card swipe readers. Vendors pay the same flat 2.75 percent fee for every credit card transaction as they do with the Square card reader. The Square Register also comes with a full suite of analytics for business owners.

We gave the Square Register a try. Here are some of our impressions on how this can be a useful new storefront tool.

What registers: The Square Register has an intuitive user interface and can turn an iPad into a full service point-of-sale terminal as the company claims. Icons can be customized by text, colors, and pictures. A "favorites" page for most popular items should simplify and speed up check outs. 

The system also sends receipts over email, text message or by print, when a compatible receipt printer is installed. A Star Micronics printer that is supported, for instance, costs $297. The Square Register can also support a traditional cash drawer.

Related: New Square App Feature Makes Mobile Payments Even Faster 

As for the new analytics functions, Square Register tracks sales in real time and data can be monitored from any web-enabled device. Also, using multiple iPads can create a virtual cash register network in a business, which can be useful in the food service industry, for example.

What doesn't: While a potentially powerful new tool for bricks-and-mortar businesses, the downfall is that it requires an iPad to operate, not a dedicated point-of-sale terminal. Few traditional transactional systems support Apple equipment. That means using Square would require a migration to an Apple-based system. Purchasing an iPad, a receipt printer and cash drawer can cost $1,000 combined. The cash drawer does not need to be Apple-compatible.

There is also a danger that employees will misuse the iPad or that they it will be stolen. Then, there are the security issues. Square Register has PIN sign-ins to control certain actions such as issuing refunds but it doesn't support different levels of permissions or multiple PIN numbers to distribute accountability among managers.

Bottom line: For Apple-centric businesses, or those looking for a new point-of-sale solution, the Square Register can be a powerful new option. But for smaller companies with existing point-of-sale systems, the total cost to deploy it might be hurdle that's not worth jumping.

Related: Three Steps for Getting Started in Mobile Commerce

 

OK

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.