Square Register Adds Offline Card Processing and Inventory Tracking

New Square Reader

Not too long ago I wrote about the beneficial competition between point-of-sale app developers and today we see yet another benefit of the competition heating up. Square has announced three new features which are going to provide indispensable infrastructure to small and growing businesses.

The three features are Square Pickup, Offline Mode, and Inventory Tracking. Pickup allows customers to order online before arriving to get the product. This is especially useful in the food industry where a lot of regulars know exactly what they want in advance. Offline Mode means that businesses can continue to use Square when the internet is down. Inventory tracking connects the Square experience directory to a database of available products so that both customers and shops can have up to date information on what is available. These are huge new features!

There’s no such thing as a free ride in this market and services such as Pickup come with an associated fee of 8% for each transaction. There is, however, a temporary reduction to 2.75% as an introduction until July 1st.

The Offline Mode is a big additional as well, especially since very few companies would offer such a feature in a free app and fund it using a simple percentage model.

Activewear company FlipBelt needed a way to take credit card payments at marathon expos and other fitness events with no connectivity. “Most systems I looked at that could take payments offline were just credit card terminals-they didn’t have the full point-of-sale functionality that Square Register does. One company that had what I needed quoted me nearly $20,000 for the system-it’s amazing that Square offers Offline Mode in a free app,” said Vice President of Operations Erik Jeffries.

Square claims that Inventory Tracking was their most requested feature and I can understand why. While it doesn’t appear that this new free feature can tap into existing database systems, it does have powerful features available in the Square dashboard and offers the ability to send warnings when stock reaches a specified level.

“Every other system we researched was either too in-depth, too expensive, or didn’t have ‘on-the-go’ entry capabilities that our mobile business requires,” says Sara Droz of the mobile retail shop The Styleliner. “Square inventory has alleviated our time-consuming manual inventory burden without disturbing the seamless, easy checkout process through Square that our customers have come to expect and enjoy.”

This is an exciting announcement for businesses that use Square, or those who are considering adopting it. There has never been a better time to run a small business when it comes to technology that is easily available at a fair price.

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