Square opens platform to third-party developers to create new payment experiences
The tools enable the company to expand into new verticals and move further into e-commerce.
Today, Square announced the Square Reader SDK that lets developers build new payment experiences and workflows for specific audiences and industries. With the new toolset, developers can offer customized payment solutions that incorporate internal or third-party tools and systems, such as inventory management or CRM.
Here’s Square’s description of the benefits of the program:
The Square Reader SDK is a set of developer tools for building custom in-person checkout experiences on the Square platform. For the first time, iOS and Android developers can build unique checkout or point of sale applications like self-ordering kiosks, mobile points of sale, in-store line busting apps, and more, on top of Square’s hardware and payments ecosystem. These customized solutions enable developers to work with both existing Square merchants in popular industries such as retail and restaurants, as well as new sellers in verticals not traditionally supported by Square like transportation and healthcare.
The beta program saw a number of entities develop specialized point-of-sale (POS) experiences, including Shake Shack, Joe and the Juice (QSR), QuickMeds (healthcare) and Infinite Peripherals (transportation/taxis).
Square hardware and its underlying payments infrastructure are both still involved (which is how Square benefits from making the tools available). It’s the middle layer, the point-of-sale (POS) software, that can be customized or integrated with other tools and systems. This can create greater efficiency (e.g., inventory integration) or enable new services for customers.
QuickMeds is a great example of the latter. QuiqMeds is a mobile app for healthcare providers that enables medications to be dispensed on site, so patients don’t need to later visit a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. People go to the doctor and get their medication in real time, which is a pretty radical change from how things operate today (CVS won’t like that).
In the case of QSR chain Shake Shack, the SDK enabled the company’s developer to build a self-service kiosk that streamlined ordering in the restaurant. That can increase customer satisfaction, improve wait times and reduce labor costs for Shake Shack, assuming the company rolls out more of these in stores.
Ultimately, the SDK is a way for Square to grow its enterprise customer base and the industries that use Square by offering developers the ability to build on top of Square’s existing payments infrastructure. It also supports Square’s push further into e-commerce.
Square offers a range of marketing tools and other services beyond payments. But payments are the entry point for adoption of these other services. Yesterday, Square reported Q2 revenues and earnings that beat Wall Street estimates.