Square is now selling a “Business in a Box” product, which includes two Square dongles, an iPad stand, a cash drawer, and a receipt printer. The business only needs to supply an iPad. The product is designed to provide merchants with everything needed to accept cash, credit, and debit transactions.
The entire solution costs $299, and is not intended to be a profit generator for Square.
“The thinking is similar to how Square originally started with its free Square Reader for accepting payments on iPhones,” [Vice President of Square Register Jesse] Dorogusker says, “aiming to get the hardware in as many hands as possible.”
This new offering is in line with the recent shift of mobile point-of-sale solution developers to switch from the simple card acceptance models to more robust, tablet-based mobile POS systems.
Developers are quickly realizing that the market for products like the original card reader offered by Square is inherently difficult to serve. For one thing, those products are marketed at merchants not processing enough transactions to receive value from a traditional card reader, and such merchants are difficult to count on for regular revenue. In addition, when the goal of a solution is simplicity (in order to both keep prices down and appeal to merchants who don’t have the desire to deal with complicated products), it is difficult to provide a competitive differentiator (other than a miniscule difference in price), which means most solutions end up splitting an already small pool of revenue.
Tablet-based mobile registers can be marketed to merchants willing to pay extra for additional features, enabling solution developers to build more complex functionality into their solution, which provides an opportunity for both differentiation and to work with merchants generating a more consistent revenue stream.
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