Over the last year Square has built out an array of back-office tools for small businesses, pivoting away from some of their more consumer-facing aspirations. Now the company is taking the tools it’s built for its point of sale and bringing them to mobile.
Today Square is giving its Appointments service a stand-alone iOS mobile app. The scheduling software lets merchants accept and cancel appointments from their phone as well as access client contact information. The service is open to all users, not just those using the Square Register, and costs from $30 to $90 a month depending on the number of employees that book clients through the app.
Appointments is the second service to get its own mobile app. Earlier this year, Square made its Dashboard app mobile, though Square Register has long had mobile functionality.
Known for creating a mobile-friendly credit-card-accepting dongle, Square has always been a mobile-first business. However, after fumbling two consumer payment apps, Square Wallet and Square Order, the company has focused more on catering to businesses. That trend was further established in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report that alleged Square lost $100 million in 2013. Since last April, the company has kept busy launching business tools like pay roll services, invoicing, fast deposits, analytics, email and marketing campaigns, and cash advances to qualifying merchants.
Square has also taken a more merchant-centered approach to serving restaurants and cafe-based businesses. In place of its food and beverage order-ahead app, Square has bought two food-ferrying mobile apps (Caviar and Fastbite) and integrated them into Square Register to lure in more dining establishments that don’t already offer delivery. It also launched an open tickets feature in Square Register for bartenders, so they can keep a rolling tab of food and drinks ordered.
Even Square Cash, its peer-to-peer payments app, got more professional with the introduction of $Cashtags, a way for customers to drop cash to businesses as you would to a friend. Meanwhile, Square’s hardware has continued to evolve to accept digital payments and EMV credit cards.
Now that Square has amassed a healthy stock of back-office software, it’s likely we’ll start to see more of these products get their own mobile apps. Square has been pushing itself as the most feature-rich point-of-sale system, though competitors like Clover and Poynt have been quick to catch up. But if Square can be first to make its feature set more mobile, it has the potential to ensnare merchants seeking greater flexibility in managing their business.