My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Square and the Cash Register - SME Deep Impact


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Square and the Cash Register - SME Deep Impact

If for a tranquil mind you seek,
These things observe with care:
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak
And how, and when, and where.

Anon., A Rule of Conduct (which mean I wrote this)

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has done it again, rolling out a revamped version of the Square Card Case App to support their Square Widget or Square Card Reader that effectively turns your Apple iPad into a Square Cash Register.

So for those persons who were saying that the Apple iPad and other Tablets are for snotty posers who like to be seen as being intelligent, you are not correct. It can become a Cash Register Killer!!

The Apple iPad also has uses other than being a major disruptor in the Laptop and Netbook field as Geezam Blog article entitled “Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction?”. PC I dealt with in a special treatise blog article entitled “Tablets and the Future of the PC - Jurassic Park and License to Kill”.

Square Cash Register App is for the Apple iPad. Most likely, however, the Square Cash Register App will be coming for the Android Market as well. This as hinted in the article “Square Hopes to Kill Cash Register With Square Register”, published May 23, 2011, 12:21pm by Cortney Fielding, GigaOM.

For those who came late Square, which launched in May of 2010AD, is a year old start-up that makes processing Credit or Debit Card Transaction your smartphone a snap, allowing SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) business owners to accept payments from these payment methods.

It can also be implemented in Jamaica in partnership with the Big Three (3) Banks in Jamaica, namely BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia), NCB (National Commercial Bank) and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago) as I had opined in my blog article on Square entitled “CLARO and Square - The App of Year 2010 and CLARO's Saviour”.

The reasoning is obvious; Apple Inc gave Square an exclusive store presence for the sale of its Square Card Reader in its chain of stores as stated in the article “Square's Disruptive Payment Service about to get a huge retail boost from Apple”, published April 16, 2011 by Leena Rao, TechCrunch. Hence the revamped Square Cash Register App is on the Apple iPad first, as a matter of being fair, of course!

The only catch with Square from the beginning is that you have to have a Square Account, a necessity for Square to track transaction occurring on your smartphone, but no different from the requirements of the more expensive POS (Point of Sale) Devices.

Having support from Heavy Hitters in the Credit Card business in the United States of America such as VISA to the tune of US$37.5 million, is a big plus as announced in my blog article on Square entitled “VISA and Jack Dorsey's Square - Leena's TechCrunch of SME's Mad Money” !

Square Cash Register App merely eliminates the need for customers to have smartphones equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) chipsets as stated in the article “Square vies with NFC for mobile payments”, published MAY 24, 2011 8:49 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News.

This as the Google Nexus S is currently packing NFC as noted in the Geezam Blog article “NFC and M2M - Cashless Society and the Internet of Things”. Tablet Makers aside from Apple are rumoured to have plans to also include NFC in their Tablets as well.

After all, to take advantage of Cashless payments, asking customers to run out and buy the latest NFC equipped smartphone when most customers of Telecoms Providers are locked into a two (2) year Contract is highly unlikely and would take time.

Instead, Square Cash Register App for the Apple iPad and the Square Card Case App for Apple iPhone and other smartphones would be part of a unified Platform which did both the transactions as well as keep track of sales.

As Square CEO Jack Dorsey describes his long term vision, quote: “A lot of people working in this space are concerned with the parts of transactions - coupons, receipts, waving your phone around in front of a terminal and wait until you hear a beep. We think it should be one system.”

Square makes NFC unnecessary for Cash Register or SME Business Sales, reducing it to paying for Movie Tickets and Bus Passes at a turnstile, where keeping people moving are essential.

Instead, the revamped Square Card Case App is Geo-Location aware.

This is a trend that is the feature of many new startups, owing to the fact that more people are comfortable with sharing their location in real time as stated in the article Nearly 1 in 5 smartphone owners use check-in services”, published MAY 13, 2011 10:47 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News.

Thus, the need to place you smartphone near to a NFC Reader is unnecessary, as when you are in a SME that has a Square Account, it alerts the user of offers from that SME e.g. a restaurant or a clothing store.

Payment can then be done via the Square Account without having to hold the smartphone near to a NFC Reader or if you prefer, via the Square Card Reader with your Credit or Debit Card.

If done via the Square Card Case App on the SME phone who may be a street-side vendor in my example, the transaction is effectively registered as explained in my blog article on Square entitled “CLARO and Square - The App of Year 2010 and CLARO's Saviour”.

The Square Cash Register App merely makes Tablets into a Cash Register replacement, utilizing the Apple iPad’s wide screen that matches that of most Computerized Cash Registers.

With Geo-Location aware Square Card Case App that works in much the same way as the Proximity Geo-Location Augmented Reality Photo Sharing Social Network named Color App as stated in my blog article on Square entitled “Color Social Network & Valpak Virtual Coupons - Augmented View's True Colours”, Square aim is clear.

Square is not just planning to aid SME’s to accept Credit and Debit Card payments on their smartphones. Rather, with the blessing of Credit Card Giant VISA and support of Apple iPad maker and Retailer Apple Inc, Square may be aiming to:

  1. Eliminate the Cash Register and all other check-in payment apps such as FourSquare, Google Places and FaceBook Places using Tablets
  2. Create a unified Cashless Platform revolving around smartphones where all your financial transactions are done and tracked via the Apple iPad or the Apple iPhone.

Truly the Square Cash Register App is going to have a very Deep Impact (1998) on the burgeoning SME Credit and Debit Card Transaction Market! And Apple Inc and VISA are bring the support……
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