Square today announced the Square Reader SDK, a toolkit that will let Android and iOS developers design and deploy their own checkout experience for both sellers and buyers. The SDK makes it possible to run a custom UX on Square's hardware, opening up new possibilites for retail.
Square envisions the Square Reader SDK will be useful for point of sale applications, such as self-ordering kiosks, in-store line busting apps, and others industries such as restaurants. Square hopes the SDK will lead to new adoption of its platform in verticals not traditionally supported, like healthcare and transportion.
"We know that many industries have niche needs and businesses may crave unique experiences that aren’t served by our existing products," said Square in a blog post. "That’s why we’re opening up our platform and providing developers direct access to Square hardware for the very first time."
Square's hardware includes the magstripe reader for swiping credit cards, the Square Reader for contactless mobile payments, the Square Stand for iPads, and the Square Register. It's this last one that will likely see the most direct benefit from the new SDK.
Square says the SDK simplifies the process of deploying apps across thousands of devices while also integrating them with critical businesss tools, such as CRM. Square claims the SDK is so easy to use that developers can integrate Square into their app and take payments mere minutes later. With only a few lines of code, developers can quickly add EMV- and PCI-compliant in-person payments to any Android or iOS app.
The steps are fairly straightforward. Firsrt developers will need to snag the documentation and use the Developer Dashboard to request access to the SDK. Authorizing the app to work on Square hardware initiates a call to Square's Mobile Authorization API, which then sends a code to the client. From here, developers connect to a Square Reader, where the user interface ensures sellers can integrate the card reader with the latest firmware and kick things off. The Reader SDK allows develoeps to accept all major credit cards and NFC-based paymenrs. The in-person checkout flow is EMV-compliant and already used by millions of sellers and buyers.
Square has given a handful of companies early access to the SDK, including Shake Shack + Fuzz, Clover Food Labs, Acuity Scheduling, and QuiqMeds.
“The Square Reader SDK allows an engineer who has zero knowledge in payments to build a secure, compliant solution that has hardware talking to apps. It lets developers do what they’re good at while Square can do what it’s good at," said Adam Mack, Lead System Architect, Fuzz Productions, Developer of the Shake Shack kiosk.
Documentation is available from Square's developer portal.