Square unveils Stand for Register merchants

Aiming for a common design aesthetic and user experience for merchants, the mobile payments company unveils a new piece of hardware.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey shows off Square Stand, the company's new hardware designed to allow merchants to easily accept payments and have a singular aesthetic when they use Square Register. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO--Aiming to help Square Register merchants who have had no standard hardware, Square today unveiled a stand meant to hold an iPad and make for an easy and common point-of-sale experience.

At a press event across the street from Square's office, the mobile payment company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Jesse Dorogusker, who leads the Square Register team, showed off Stand, its new hardware intended to give merchants a streamlined way, and a single aesthetic, to accept payments.

The problem, said Dorsey, is that merchants have had no single method to take payments using Square Register. Around the country, thousands of merchants use the system -- which allows customers to pay wirelessly with a mobile app, and lets brick and mortar retailers accept payments on an iPad -- but have had to integrate it with a wide variety of cash registers and other machines. Square clearly believes that the lack of common aesthetic and user experience is a problem.

Now, merchants can buy Square Stand for $299. Square is taking preorders starting today on its Web site, and the product will ship the week of July 8. It will also be available from Best Buy and other retailers.

The new point of sale system will support the iPad 2 and iPad 3 at launch, and the latest iPad (with Lightning connector) later this year, but it won't work with the iPad Mini.

Square doesn't believe it needs to add its own cash drawer, Dorsey said. Instead, it just wanted to make sure that merchants have the best possible "central" hardware -- in this case, the stand.

Although the stand can be free-standing on a merchant's counter, it can also be mounted with a bolt, and is meant to swivel. The stand also has a built-in card reader with two heads intended to ensure a card is read immediately. Encryption takes place at the reader.

Dorogusker said that starting Wednesday, 13 merchants around the country, including San Francisco's well-known Blue Bottle Coffee, will be showcasing Square Stand.

The Square Stand will replace Square's Business in a Box , which it unveiled in February. That product was also intended to give merchants a more unified experience.

 

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