Square, the “service that enables anyone to accept credit cards anywhere” has just launched what they’ve labelled as a “Business in a Box” which they say will simplify setting up point of sale for small companies. With a couple of Square readers, iPad stand and a cash drawer you have all you need to get up and running with your retail business.
By creating an ecosystem, Square is able to offer a platform for innovation much like the iPhone did. Rather than a silo’d system, the Business in a Box simplicity and openness allows a merchant to pick and choose apps that are complementary. Those apps can include accounting, analytics, inventory and other lightweight ways to integrate a business.
This idea is a spur to innovation and a severe challenge to the status quo.
Quite apart from creating a turnkey solution and cutting out hefty merchant fees by banks, this poses a more interesting question in general.
Is it possible to literally create an entire business model from only a couple of clicks and a few boxes in the post?
And if this is the case, then what future is there for larger and frankly bloated off-the-shelf packages which need hefty effort to configure and tweak. If all you need is a wi-fi or cell data connection, why would you need to compete on expensive infrastructure?