Square Launches Upmarket POS Terminal

by Raymond Pucci 0

Square continues to go where the money is by moving up to serve larger merchant POS needs. With the launch of Register, a POS platform, Square can offer an integrated solution set in a higher-end terminal sought after by big retailers. As the following article describes, the new product combines sleek hardware design with business management software tools.

Square is expanding its hardware lineup with a new point-of-sale device called the Register. Square’s Head of Hardware Jesse Dorogusker explained that while the company’s existing products incorporate existing hardware (the Square Stand, for example, turns an iPad into a POS stand), the Square Register is “totally integrated — our hardware, our software, all in the box, all by Square.”

CEO Jack Dorsey added that the Register is meant to address concerns from larger sellers using Square or considering using it. For one thing, he said some businesses felt the Stand was “very consumer-focused,” so they wanted something “more professional.”

More specifically, Dorsey said the Register solves a big pain point by coming with separate screens for the buyer and seller. The Square team thought it was “clever” to design the Stand to swivel back-and-forth (“and it is quite clever”), but larger sellers wanted separate displays, allowing the customer to see each product as they’re being rung up.

The customer display also allows businesses to show off their imagery and branding. It’s detachable to accommodate different countertops. And it supports tap-to-pay, allowing customers to pay with their phone or watch without having to pass it over to the cashier.

Other features include Ethernet and offline support, so that businesses without good WiFi (say at a concert venue, or in the basement of a mall) can still use it without worrying about connectivity, and a five-port USB hub, so that the Register can be connected to other devices.

This isn’t necessarily going to replace the Stand or Square’s other hardware. Instead, Dorogusker said this gives larger sellers “two great choices,” and he added that the real goal is to replace “the giant beige and gray boxes that are out there in the world.”

Square has long been a favorite of small and micro businesses. However, it must scale up to meet the needs of larger merchants that have multiple POS stations across many locations. The new Square Register appears to meet those requirements, especially with integrated features needed to run a merchant’s business operations as well as to gain customer insight on purchase behavior. Square’s offering comes just in time as First Data’s Clover has become a formidable competitor in the POS landscape and brings its own strengths to the merchant market.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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