Square, Inc., a mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California, introduced a complete cashless register – a step up from the white Square readers many have encountered in coffee shops and farmer’s markets. The innovation, if successful, can create a bold impact in the cashless revolution slowly taking over merchants around the country.
Square’s new product called Square Register is just one of many possible solutions to the demand of cashless and convenient payment needs. Square calls its most recent innovation a fully-integrated point of sale, the first of its kind. Banking on a complete software and hardware solution, Square Register makes things convenient for both the seller and the consumer.
A recent research by Total System Services, called the 2016 U.S. Consumer Payment Study, suggests cash is in decline. A team of researchers from the United States credit card processing company found that only 11 percent of American consumers prefer cash, while a whopping 75 percent prefer cards. The result was not surprising, and the trend is found to be true elsewhere as well. China is a good example where mobile payments are increasing.
While this pattern is spreading throughout the globe, there are still sectors, however, that remain heavily dependent on cash.
Certain industries and individuals including cab drivers, manual laborers, charity workers, the elderly, student workers (who are unlikely to have bank accounts at such a young age), and people in tip-based industries still depend on cash. Undoubtedly, beggars, homeless people, and those who ask for money on the streets also only use cash for survival. For others, cashless seems to be the way to go.
The same study revealed that consumers prefer different payment options, and which option they prefer often depends on the type of purchase. From credit cards, cash, debit cards, and mobile transactions such as PayPal, people want options. With globalization in mind, there are also those who are awake at odd hours of the night, so having a way to pay for things without carrying cash or interacting with another human is a convenient solution.
One of Many Cashless Solutions
Square launched their new product initially at a pop-up shop for Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), a record label that releases music from artists like Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, and many more. Square’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey, who is also Twitter’s CEO, explained how these new registers are a great alternative to tablets, mobile devices, and even Square’s own contactless chip readers.
“A built-in seller display means you don’t have to worry about iPad theft,” Square stated in the company’s blog. While many businesses are still free to use their mobile devices and iPads with Square’s software rather than buying the Register system, the company has made it clear that the all-in-one product is the wisest choice.
With a customer-facing display in addition to the cashier-side display, there’s no need to shift the same piece of hardware between people. There seems to be a solution for various potential issues, such as five universal serial bus (USB) ports, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an Ethernet cable slot for when Wi-Fi is not available. Cashless options let people swipe their card, insert a card with a chip, or tap for payment.
Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware product development, said that the current cashier technology is not great. “The world is still packed full of giant grey and beige towers that are between the buyer and the seller, and it’s terrible,” he said. Dorsey is confident the Square’s new system can easily compete against other touchscreen systems, saying most of them are not of good quality. “It should be pretty easy,” he asserted.