Jack Dorsey got into the payment space when he started Square, and since then, it’s helped small businesses accept all sorts of payments. Over the years, it has branched out with additional payment methods and dabbling in hardware. In a space that was historically clunky, ugly, expensive, and frustrating, Square was a breath of fresh air.
From the launch, Square has always been an outstanding iOS app. It’s had light, clean UIs that were easy to understand and setup. On iPhone, the app is broken out between the checkout screen, transaction history, notifications, and settings. It can track online orders, outstanding invoices, and run reports.
I’m always shocked by the variety of payment types supported. Use cash, card, contactless, check, Cash App, invoices, payment links, QR code, gift card, and loyalty points among others. Small businesses never had this level of versatility. They’d be stuck taking cash or maybe credit cards through some dingy payment terminal that hadn’t been updated in more than a decade.
The hardware from Square was also exceptional, mirroring Apple’s aesthetic. The OG square reader simply plugged into the headphone jack and was all white. Square eventually created terminals that could house an iPad and turning it into a full-fledged POS. I was — and still am — a fan of the company’s Bluetooth card reader. It is easy to connect with a single button and is rechargeable.
The reason I felt now was a good time to talk about Square despite being available for many years is its current beta feature. Square is among a small group of sellers that are trying Apple’s new Apple Pay with iPhone technology. This allows you to accept contactless payments via NFC just using your iPhone. It’s kind of incredible.
The way it is when you go to check out a customer, you choose the Apple Pay with iPhone option. Square has integrated with this new API that will utilize the phone’s NFC reader to accept credit and debit card contactless payments. When you choose this as the checkout option, an Apple Pay icon appears towards the top of the screen and a space-like background appears such as when pairing an Apple Watch for the first time. They then bring their card or phone near your device and the payment is processed. No external hardware necessary.
With a low barrier to entry, anyone can create a Square account for free and with the addition of Apple Pay with iPhone, no reader is even needed — although I’d still recommend having one for customers who don’t pay contactless payments. Whether you are just selling your old wares at a garage sale, selling produce at a weekly farmer’s market, or owning a retail shop, Square and it’s incredible app have you covered.
But enough about other people’s apps.
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