Consumers are used to paying for purchases via iPad when they do their shopping online, but soon they may be using iPads to pay at brick-and-mortar stores too.
The cash register used to be king. But with current technological advances making it easier for customers and merchants alike to utilize mobile payment systems, the cash register could be on its way out.
Square, the company that created a card reader that plugs into a smartphone or iPad allowing anyone to accept credit debit card payments, has introduced Square Stand, hardware that makes it easy for merchants to set up an iPad as their primary POS system.
More than just a card reader
Square Stand works with Square Register, a free POS app that lets retailers accept payments by credit card, debit card, or prepaid card. Instead of a small card reader that plugs into a phone or tablet, Square Stand has an integrated card reader located in the stand.
Merchants lock their iPad in place and fasten the stand to their countertop. The stand swivels and tilts, and includes a barcode scanner, cash drawers and receipt printer. The entire system retails for $199. To set up their Square POS, merchants just need an iPad – the Square Stand is compatible with the iPad 2 or 3.
After downloading the Square Register app and creating an account, retail operators are ready to start taking payments with Square. There is a 2.75% surcharge per swipe, or merchants can choose to pay a flat fee of $275 per month for unlimited credit card payment processing.
The Square Stand is potentially good news for shoppers, diners and other customers of businesses using Square. A low-cost POS makes it easier for stores to set up more registers, leading to faster checkouts and shorter lines. Some stores already use Square Register with a tablet or smartphone to let customers check out wherever they are in the store and avoid standing in line altogether.
Businesses who like the idea of using Square Register but desire a more permanent, multi-functional POS may be won over by the Square Stand’s increased functionality. The ability to print receipts, in particular, gives Square Stand an edge over the Square Register, which, despite the register in its name, was simply a card reader.