Financial service and digital payment provider Square is taking contactless payments to a whole new level in Canada with the launch of Square Register. Square Register is an all-in-one payment and point of sale (POS) device for medium to large businesses. It is an extension of Square’s existing hardware, software and services and does not require an iPad, app, or software to manage the system.
Prior to the launch of Square Register, which was introduced to Canada on September 8, companies used Square Stand, a POS solution or Square Terminal. Michael MacLennan, hardware product lead at Square, said that Square Terminal is also an all-in-one product but it is much smaller and designed like a traditional payment terminal.
How it works
However, unlike a traditional payment terminal Square Register includes two large screens: one for the buyer and one for the seller. It keeps the buyer and seller safe by emphasizing minimal interaction and separating the seller part of the device from the buyer part of the device by up to two meters.
Square’s hardware is very popular with smaller businesses due to its affordability and simplicity, but Square Register has also attracted the attention of larger businesses. MacLennan said the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation’s McMahon Stadium, home of the Calgary Stampeders, and Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, use Square Register as their main payment device in stadiums.
Increase in contactless payment
With vaccination rates rising and the economy more open, Canadians are preparing to shop in person this fall. A survey by Leger commissioned by Square revealed that 72 per cent of Canadian respondents agree that distanced and cashless buying options help them feel more comfortable when supporting local sellers. For the past year and a half, businesses across Canada have increasingly been using contactless payment options like Square. “Square is helping our sellers be successful. Through the pandemic, we really focused on that as well and the things that we saw were… people wanting to have that distance when they’re in person during a transaction,” McLennan said.
The pandemic has also accelerated the decline in the use of cash. MacLennan said that even before the pandemic, companies were already using contactless payment solutions, but some smaller cash-only stores had to make a change to stay safe and maintain their business. These businesses are a core group that Square tried to serve at the height of the pandemic. “We try to help cash-only businesses. A lot of them didn’t really have an avenue to get in the ability to take credit cards or if they did, it was so prohibitively expensive that it wasn’t worth it or viable for them to do it.” Square Register is relatively affordable, he noted; it retails for $899, or can be purchased through 12 monthly payments of $75.