Last March, mobile-payments pioneer Square introduced a free iPad app it called Square Register. The software let small businesses accept payments (via Square’s tiny credit-card swiper or its Square Wallet app for iPhone and Android), ring up orders and keep track of product sales. Now Square is introducing a hardware bundle it’s calling Business in a Box. And the basic idea is to turn the Square Register app into a real cash register for the iPad era.
For $299, you get two Square Readers and two third-party products: Heckler Designs’ WindFall, a swiveling, securable iPad stand for use in retail environments, and APG’s Vasario 1616, a cash drawer which can be controlled from the iPad. A $599 version includes a Star Micronics thermal printer for printing receipts. Both versions are available direct from Square, and with either, you supply your own iPad.
Everything in the box is something a small business could already purchase separately and use with the Square Register app, and they face competition from other iPad-based payment setups such as NCR’s Silver. So Square isn’t doing anything groundbreaking here: It’s just making it easy to buy multiple devices which work well together and which add up to a complete point-of-sale system. The company thinks that the bundle will be particularly appealing to local food-service businesses such as coffee shops and bakeries, as well as other service companies.
As always with Square, the only ongoing cost is the credit-card processing fee of 2.75 percent. The company says that three million businesses and individuals can already accept Square payments, and that it’s now processing $10 billion a year in payments.