Square begins offering 'Business in a Box' iPad cash register system

Some experts believe the iPad and other tablets will replace traditional cash registers as the norm as early as the end of the year.

There are many examples of "blank in a box" products. Things like bully, filmmaker and USO in a Box are making one-stop-shops for those dealing with IT problems, making a movie or sending packages to American troops overseas.

Now, this concept has come to the world of cash registers and mobile commerce. A recent article from Tab Times dives into the new Business in a Box bundle that has been released by San Francisco-based Square.

The company burst onto the mobile payment scene in 2010 when it began offering its card reader plugin and corresponding applications for iOS and Android-based mobile devices. The system was an instant hit with small businesses that were now able to easily accept credit card payments, in some instances for the first time. Other industries, like the food truck market, could now allow customers to pay with credit, instead of being cash only, and in the process opened up an entire new revenue stream.

The new product is a hardware bundle that gives small and midsize businesses (SMBs) two Square Readers, iPad stand and cash draw that can be operated by the tablet. There is a more expensive model that also includes a receipt printer. The iPad itself is not included.

This is a step in the iPad only cash registers that Square COO Keith Rabois predicted would occur by the end of 2013 when he spoke with All Things D in September.

"The era of standalone machines is over," said Rabois. "Everyone will be migrating to iPads and comparable devices, which will be powered by an app - that is, hopefully, Square."

This is just one example of how mobile devices are starting the take over of point-of-sales systems. There are many Tablet POS applications hitting the market that allow business owners to use their own direct merchant account and benefit from Interchange savings.

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