- Square launched a new product on Thursday: the Square Terminal, which is a portable, all-in-one card processing device.
- Square has long focused on helping businesses take credit card payments – most famously with its original smartphone dongle, but also with touchscreen-based cash registers.
- The company says that it makes it easy for businesses to put cash registers everywhere: A restaurant could put one in every booth; a salon could put one at every chair.
- An exec says that Square wanted to make something like this since day one, but focused on the dongles to spread the word first.
Going to the store and paying can be a clunky process, and more often than not, stores use slow, outdated brick-like credit card readers with tiny screens.
Square, the $30 billion mobile payments company helmed by Jack Dorsey, wants to change all this. On Thursday, it launched Square Terminal, a payments terminal that’s small and portable, accepts all forms of payments quickly, and still does everything traditional cash registers do, like ring up sales and print out receipts.
The company is most famous for its $10 smartphone dongle, which made it easy for anyone, anywhere, to start taking credit card payments. After that, Square moved into making svelte, futuristic cash registers. This payment terminal is somewhere in the middle – portable like a smartphone, but with the features of a full register.
“Payment terminals have been around forever,” Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square, tells Business Insider. “The logical response would be to [create one] at the beginning of Square, but we had to work on getting card acceptance into as many people’s hands as possible. That’s the problem we solved first.”
Also, at its smaller size, users can easily carry around the terminal on the go, or discreetly place it in public view. For example, at a restaurant, a waiter can let customers pay directly at the table, instead of customers waiting for their receipt. Or, at a store, a salesperson can finish the deal with a customer directly on the spot.
In addition to supporting chip cards and swipe cards both, the Square Terminal accepts mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, can connect to Wi-Fi, and has a wired networking port built in. There’s a dashboard feature for businesses to track their sales. Users can also see exactly what they’re paying for on the screen.
“There’s a lot more rich interaction with the buyer, show them what they’re being rung up for,” Dorogusker said.