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Square claims retailers will swap cash registers for iPads in the next 18 months

by Doug Drinkwater

September 18 2012

Square has apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android
Square has apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android

Square COO Keith Rabois says that almost all retailers will swap cash registers for iPads or other tablets by early 2014.

“The era of standalone machines is over,” said Rabois, when speaking to AllThingsD. “Everyone will be migrating to iPads and comparable devices, which will be powered by an app — that is, hopefully, Square.”

When pushed on a timeline for this, Rabois said that this move would happen over the next 18 months.

Mobile payments firm Square allows individuals and businesses to pay for goods using their debit and credit card, either by using Square's free magnetic-swipe reader or by manually entering the payment details via Square's iPad, iPhone and Android apps. The company even has its own Square Register app for retailers.

Square charges users 2.75% per transaction or swipe, or a flat $275 per month for small businesses processing orders up to $250,000 each year. Businesses that run over this limit will pay the standard 2.75% rate for each additional transaction.

The San Francisco-based company announced last month that Starbucks had become one of its latest partners, with this latest investment taking Square's valuation to a reported $3.25 billion. Starbucks customers will be able to pay for goods using Square across 7,000 U.S. stores from this fall.

Although Rabois' estimation may be seen as bold in some quarters, last year’s survey from the National Retail Federation would seem to back up the firm’s theory.

The NRF report found that 6% of retailers used mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices last fall, but revealed that half of all retailers planned to use such devices over the course of the next 18 months.

Square rivals in the mobile payments space include eBay's PayPal, Verifone and Intuit.

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