Square, the superstar payment start-up that hit it big, revealed big news today at TechCrunch Disrupt with the unveiling of two new products, Square Register and Square Card Case, which together aim to replace both wallets and cash registers
The two apps are set to revolutionize the concept of a “digital wallet” with their two new big announcements, targeting retailers as well as directly targeting consumers.
The first of these, Square Register, replaces traditional cash registers with iPads loaded with the new Square Register application. The app will allow retailers to customize the interface with their full product list, will contain analytics to see break-down and performance across all sales areas, and comes as a free update to the Square app (the iPad version, at least), which we discussed earlier today. Square describes it as follows:
Transform your iPad into an elegant point of sale. Customize it with product photos, prices, and sortable categories. Accept cash and credit cards. Swipe a card, let customers sign directly on the screen, and send them an email or text message receipt. Customers can add a tip as they sign. Know how many cappuccinos you sell each day. Download full reports that give you insight into your sales patterns and inventory. Let your regular customers set up a tab right from their phone and pay with their name. Publish your menu and share daily specials.
Secondly, and mainly targeting consumers, Square has rolled out “Card Case,” virtual business cards that allow customers to view information for their favorite businesses, access real-time menus and product lists, and transaction histories with each of the companies. The app is designed to replace loyalty cards, as well as manage credit card payments by setting up a “tab” of sorts that is automatically billed to a consumer’s credit card. It can effectively enable you to pay for products without having your wallet or credit card handy.
Here’s how the “tab” mechanism in Card Case works: Transaction confirmations and receipts are pushed to users’ phones for record-tracking. Users can initiate a payment by activating the business’s Square Card on their phone when within range of the business and then simply giving their name at the register to have the purchase charged to their account.
The two programs are now rolling out through 50 select merchants located in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, St. Louis, and Los Angeles, with further expansion coming soon.
Also mentioned by Dorsey today is the fact that Square has now shipped 500,000 card readers across the US, and has process over $1 billion in gross payment volume. It’s quite clear that Square has already changed the way that people think about point of sale (using just a smartphone or tablet). The question now is, what’s next? And further, when will they make their IPO so I can invest a boatload of money into them?