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Square launches iPad-driven 'Business in a Box' hardware for $299

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Mobile payment processing company Square announced on Wednesday its new "Business in a Box" ? a product meant to serve as a full point-of-sale system for physical retailers, allowing them to accept payments and perform analytics on their businesses from one device.

Square POS


Business in a Box works in conjunction with Square Register, Square's app that allows vendors to input custom product inventories as well as accept payments with Square's credit card reader. Business in a Box adds a cash drawer and optional printer to the formula, essentially turning a customer's iPad into part of a cash register.

The package, which retails for $299, comes with the aforementioned cash drawer, a Square card reader, and a WindFall iPad stand from Heckler Design. That "paperless" POS emails receipts to customers instead of printing them. For physical receipts, businesses can pay an additional $300 to have a printer included.

Square's usual processing fees apply. Square users get a free card reader compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, and the company takes a 2.75 percent fee per swipe. Businesses with heavy credit card traffic also have the option of paying $275 per month in order to eliminate the per-swipe fee.
post #2 of 37
Puts another nail in the "it's just a consumer toy" argument.

Fantastic idea and implementation, is this the start of the end of windows check outs?
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #3 of 37
Wow. Wiping out the old-fashioned POS (Point of Sale) cash machine with iPad. I like it.

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post #4 of 37

Aren't regular, old fashioned cash registers very expensive?

 

This looks like a nice product. 

post #5 of 37
This is an incredible value. Well done.
post #6 of 37
This is a brilliant product.
post #7 of 37

You can get an unconnected traditional cash register from Costco pretty cheap:  http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&catalogId=10701&langId=-1&keyword=cash+register

 

But the Square system you can play Angry Birds while waiting for a customer. :D

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post #8 of 37
I really hope someone comes up with a full business in a box-- integrate a NAS with wifi and VPN, and modular apps for things like inventory, services, payroll... that isn't an over-priced cloud solution. One-man consulting/service businesses are a great target, but many other small businesses make sense too.

This could work really well for kiosk operators.
post #9 of 37

$300 for the drawer / stand / Square

$400 for the IPad 

$300 for a printer 

===============

$1,000

 

As opposed to other systems that network and cost much more.

 

Or cost less and include more. E.g.

 

 

I don't know if the Square swipe fee is reasonable, but I suspect that can be had for less, too.

post #10 of 37
I wonder how this handles checks. It'd be nice if you could verify and submit the check for cashing immediately like I can with my banking App.
post #11 of 37

If only Square would pull their finger out and release over in Europe/UK.

However, Visa have locked everything down as we use PIN codes and not signatures so they demand different technology, not just a card swiper.

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You can get an unconnected traditional cash register from Costco pretty cheap:  http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&catalogId=10701&langId=-1&keyword=cash+register

But the Square system you can play Angry Birds while waiting for a customer. 1biggrin.gif
Yeah, try programming your inventory in I e if those things. The PoS software they usually provide (I am not even considering the ones which do t provide a hookup to a computer to program) means the time you put in would probably make up the difference at minimum wage. I setup a store for a friend, and after he had 3 other very intelligent people try, he turned to me. It took me over 50 hours to program everything in (admittedly they stocked a lot of inventory, and the bar code thing wasn't working but better software would have cut that down to 5-10 hours at most).
post #13 of 37
Must be a slow day for news. I feel like this is more of a backpage story. Why do we care about 3rd party apps?
post #14 of 37
It seems they didn't listen to the Jony Ive interview about naming products
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

$300 for the drawer / stand / Square

$400 for the IPad 
$300 for a printer 
===============
$1,000

As opposed to other systems that network and cost much more.

Or cost less and include more. E.g.




I don't know if the Square swipe fee is reasonable, but I suspect that can be had for less, too.

What does this give you that the Square product does not? And what about your electricity costs? What about maintenance and the risk of getting viruses?

And can you carry this to different parts of the store to charge up people not necessarily at the register itself? Can you use it to easily and conveniently also maybe display items which are not currently on display but you have for sale?

Finally, that thing is just plain ugly (and the touchscreens usually don't work well because they are usually resistive, although I can't vouch for that particular device since you don't link it).
post #16 of 37
This article fails to mention that the $275/month flat rate is very much limited. You can pay $275/month, but it is limited to the first $250K, then the 2.75% rate applies - this means many small businesses cannot use the service and save money, as 2.75% is a lot more than many businesses pay for swipe fees on average.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

This article fails to mention that the $275/month flat rate is very much limited. You can pay $275/month, but it is limited to the first $250K, then the 2.75% rate applies - this means many small businesses cannot use the service and save money, as 2.75% is a lot more than many businesses pay for swipe fees on average.

It's worse than that.  The $275 fee is ONLY for transactions under $400, and ONLY up to $21,000 per month. If you use exactly up to the limit, that puts your processing at 1.3%, which is right in line with what a traditional processing company would charge.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

$300 for the drawer / stand / Square

$400 for the IPad 
$300 for a printer 
===============
$1,000

As opposed to other systems that network and cost much more.

Or cost less and include more. E.g.




I don't know if the Square swipe fee is reasonable, but I suspect that can be had for less, too.

Of course the Square business plan is that you can have a point of sale solution for $0 extra, using your existing iPhone or other iOS device. Once you start to become successful, you can buy some accessories if you want. Everone tries to augment income with accessories! So traditional point of sale hardware doesn't really compete.
post #19 of 37

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:39pm
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

I really hope someone comes up with a full business in a box-- integrate a NAS with wifi and VPN, and modular apps for things like inventory, services, payroll... that isn't an over-priced cloud solution. One-man consulting/service businesses are a great target, but many other small businesses make sense too.

This could work really well for kiosk operators.

You sure there aren't any good iPad apps for that? Perhaps they could be used in conjunction with Square. 

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post #21 of 37
I'm not impressed.
post #22 of 37

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:39pm
post #23 of 37

It sounded good to me (but then I saw the printer was extra [and $300 for a little feed printer?])

Seems like there must be a better solution for cheaper. Where I see an iPad solution being very attractive is for someone selling from a kiosk, at an art fair, from their vehicle, or from a small home business (artist, consultant, craftsman, etc.) Seems like just the square, a wallet, an iPhone/iPad, and possibly a printer (plus software) is all you need.

Where's a version of what Apple uses in their stores?

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

$300 for the drawer / stand / Square

$400 for the IPad 

$300 for a printer 

===============

$1,000

 

As opposed to other systems that network and cost much more.

 

Or cost less and include more. E.g.

 

 

I don't know if the Square swipe fee is reasonable, but I suspect that can be had for less, too.

And running antivirus, and getting malware and registry corruption and any number of Windows issues.  Yay!

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

If only Square would pull their finger out and release over in Europe/UK.
However, Visa have locked everything down as we use PIN codes and not signatures so they demand different technology, not just a card swiper.

Same with Canada.

The only reason the Square device works is because it uses the magstripe. All other countries have told their merchants to use the contactless chip or the chip+pin method and charge more for swiping, and even more for manual entry.


The problem lies in the security of the device that enters the PIN. If you go to the Apple store here, they have a huge honking pin-pad attached to the rear of their iDevices to support the chip+pin. Why can't we buy these things?
post #26 of 37

you do realise this is only the hardware and doesn't actually include any software, backup, cloud storage, credit card processing, bank integration... etc. etc. expect to spend at least another $5,000 before you even come close to what the entire Square package is. And even then you have a clunky solution with no real support if the hardware breaks.

post #27 of 37
Give me table-numbers and customer-tabs and I'm fully and totally sold.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

And running antivirus, and getting malware and registry corruption and any number of Windows issues.  Yay!

 

POS systems aren't usually used to surf the web.   But if it's a worry, pick a POS system that doesn't run Windows.  <shrug>  Perhaps there's a MacOS or Linux setup like that one.

 

Simply put, someone asked if the Square setup was price competitive with regular POS hardware.  To assist, I found and posted the first example I ran across.   Feel free to help out by finding others to compare with.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

And can you carry this to different parts of the store to charge up people not necessarily at the register itself? 
 
I think you're confusing this solution with carry around versions.
 

The whole point of buying this Square setup with the Windfall case is that the iPad is secured down in one spot with tamper proof screws.


Edited by KDarling - 2/20/13 at 6:03pm
post #29 of 37

This is cool. I almost want to open up a coffee shop just to use this.

post #30 of 37
Cool solution! But how would this work for a business larger than a 1 person micro business. What about backend office stuff like accounting? Is the analytics collected compatible with accounting software? Do I need a computer? Also, an obvious flaw, is that customer can't see the total displayed. Turning the ipad around every transaction isn't convenient.

Even for a micro business the card fees are too much. With the weak economy, I've seen stores accept only cash.
Edited by Kung Fu Guy - 2/20/13 at 6:37pm
post #31 of 37

http://www.shopkeep.com

 

Complete iPad POS system. It might even allow you to tie into Square, but I'm not sure. They claim to support many merchants for credit cards, or they can help you sign up for one. 

 

You can buy the complete setup through them, including an iPad 2 16GB for a total of $1,155. It even allows you to setup a "kitchen" printer to easily submit food orders to the cook(s). 

 

I saw a business using this setup, but on a MacBook Pro. He said they (ShopKeep) were switching everything to iPad, so it looks like he was right. 

post #32 of 37
If the business was successful at all, then that "swipe" thingy would break fairly quickly IMO.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

This is cool. I almost want to open up a coffee shop just to use this.

In Amsterdam?
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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You can get an unconnected traditional cash register from Costco pretty cheap:  http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&catalogId=10701&langId=-1&keyword=cash+register

But the Square system you can play Angry Birds while waiting for a customer. 1biggrin.gif

ick. If the Square system is up for a given register task, I'd try to use Square first. Unless you're trying to make your business look like it's stuck in the 80's. There are POS systems based on notebooks or AIOs, something worth looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRHain88 View Post

Must be a slow day for news. I feel like this is more of a backpage story. Why do we care about 3rd party apps?

I think it's a bit more than an app though. It's kind of like saying the story about the iPad's use in medical imaging is just a story about 3rd party apps. AI does do occasional stories on business applications of iOS devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

It sounded good to me (but then I saw the printer was extra [and $300 for a little feed printer?])

They do list the part numbers of each item in the package. Maybe you can save a Franklin by doing that. If I needed a wireless commercial grade thermal printer, I wouldn't bat an eye at $300, but that model is listed on Amazon for $205. It's lifetime operational cost is probably far cheaper than an inkjet and takes much less space than other printer types. A Zebra label printer is on my wish list. The Zebras cost even more and doesn't have a wireless option that I've seen.
Edited by JeffDM - 2/22/13 at 10:07pm
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

I really hope someone comes up with a full business in a box-- integrate a NAS with wifi and VPN, and modular apps for things like inventory, services, payroll... that isn't an over-priced cloud solution. One-man consulting/service businesses are a great target, but many other small businesses make sense too.

This could work really well for kiosk operators.

 

Most one man/kiosk type places don't need that much tech. An app or two on the iPad is about all they would have to worry about.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

It's worse than that.  The $275 fee is ONLY for transactions under $400, and ONLY up to $21,000 per month. If you use exactly up to the limit, that puts your processing at 1.3%, which is right in line with what a traditional processing company would charge.

 

Don't a lot, if not all, of those traditional processing companies charge an account setup and/or maintenance fee that can run into several thousands of dollars a year. How would those fees factor into the game

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Don't a lot, if not all, of those traditional processing companies charge an account setup and/or maintenance fee that can run into several thousands of dollars a year. How would those fees factor into the game

Square's fee is clearly at lower rates than I'm being charged by First Data. But it's hard to correlate because I do a lot of international business.

I've only used Square for one weekend, but I was happy with it. The old style handheld terminal was clearly unrealistic for a small handful of shows. I think it was a thousand dollars, then it had to have a monthly cellular account.
Edited by JeffDM - 2/23/13 at 7:31am
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