Credit card processing company Square is rolling out a trial of its payment platform in New York City taxicabs using iPads with custom cases as payment terminals, the New York Times reports. The system will be outfitted in 30 cabs to start, with the main benefit being ease of use. Passengers can swipe their card at any time during their journey, sign the screen with their finger, and then have a receipt emailed or texted to them.
Instead of the traditional blaring screens, these taxis will be outfitted with Square’s latest hardware — an iPad encased in a black metal sleeve that is connected to a credit card swiper. The screen displays a slick Apple-like design of New York too, showing information about your location, fare and route.
Megan Quinn, Square’s director of product, said in an interview at the company’s San Francisco headquarters that taxi drivers around the United States were some of the company’s “most loyal customers,” often swiping people’s credit cards on their phone after a ride. But in New York, where tight regulation limits drivers, Square had to come up with an alternate solution.
In addition to the new taxi initiative, Square has also introduced a new Register app for retail stores. The app lets brick and mortar merchants fill up their app with pre-priced items, and allowing merchants to wirelessly print receipts and open a cash drawer when a purchase is made. Additionally, Square has included an extensive analytics feature into Register.
The new app and Square also features in-depth analytics, allowing merchants to segment consumer payments data and transactions. The dashboard provides a glance of basic sales information and recent transaction history, including the number of payments, subtotals, tax, tips, refunds, account deposits, etc. It also shows several interactive data sets, breaking down sales by month, days of the week, time of day, and even size of payment. Merchants can access and explore these analytics when they log into their Square account online as well.
Square is now processing $4 billion in payments per year, double what it was processing in October 2011.