Square Hopes to Kill Cash Register With Square Register

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Not two years after introducing the world to its little mobile credit card reader, Square is looking to write the obituary for the modern cash register–along with every location-based, daily deal and mobile payment app in existence.

From his open-plan, industrial office space within the San Francisco Chronicle building Monday morning, Square CEO and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey unveiled his newest creations– the Square Register for merchant and the Square Card Holder for consumers.

Availble for the iPad, the Square Register is a software platform designed to work with the Square Reader to manage payments and take the place of those “expensive, complicated, and impersonal commercial transaction system,” –also know as the cash register.  Working in tandem with the card reader, the platform gives merchants access to “Google-style analytics” to manage items, check daily transactions, update pricing, automate checkout, generate digital receipts and maintain virtual storefronts. With one swipe of an iPad, your local coffee shop can now easily answer how many cappuccinos sold today or how rain impacts the sale of biscotti’s, Dorsey said.

The register is currently being used by 50 merchants in New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Mo., Washington D.C. and San Francisco. The company did not give a timeline for expansion, other than saying it plans to grow at a measured pace.

Consumers (at least those in the five cities where it has launched) can search for participating businesses by type or location on the new Card Holder application. The location-based service lets users browse menus, find daily specials and manage loyalty cards digitally and offers one-click payment “just like iTunes and Amazon.”

Then, when a customer opens his card reader and is ready to check out, he gives the cashier his name. His face and account will pop up on the merchant’s iPad screen. He tells the cashier to charge it to his account.  He will then receive a digital receipt for the purchase. The digital wallet app also allows consumers to see all past purchases online.

“You just pay with your name. It’s really easy, it’s really magical,” Dorsey said.

And don’t forget all the paper you’re saving.

“All that clutter, all that mess. Get rid of takeout menus, get rid of loyaty cards. reciepts. Replace it with one digital card,” he said.

Since its first little plastic reader went off the production line, Square says it has shipped out 500,000 readers. It says Square users have made one million purchases (that’s an average of just two per reader) that account for more than $1 billion in gross payment.

With the reader, register and card holder, Square thinks it has hit the trifecta of mobile payments. It not only wants to eliminate the register, it wants to eliminate every startup offering daily deals or loyalty card solutions. Dorsey says:

What we think is that there alot of people working are also working in this space are concerned with the parts of transactions … payments, coupons, receipts. Waving around your phone in the air next to a terminal hoping that you hear a beep. We don’t think that’s the right way to go.  We think In order to do this right you have to have one system. You have to build  for the buyer, the seller and everything in between.”

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