Square, Ecommerce And The Future Of MoneyMoney is over. Money is dead and gone killed by the web’s infinite reach and smooth surface. Money is less than an ideal medium for exchange. Money is always getting lost and paper money is the ultimate bearer bond where procession is 100% of the law.
Even more of a problem than money’s friction is how unconnected it is. Once money leaves a computer and becomes a thing it is all but lost. We spend it we know not how :). Along comes the Internet and a movement started in the fifties to convert paper money to some other means of transfer is almost complete.
The death of money has many implications. This post is about the Point of Sale (POS) revolution created by Square. I’ve wondered for months why some big bank hasn’t come along and taken Twitter’s founder and Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey out behind the woodshed. Then I saw an interview with Jack Dorsey on SquawkBox on CNBC and I understood.
Jack Dorsey Interview About Twitter and Square
Dorsey is a man on a mission. He is creating Square to right a wrong, to include a large number of Small Businesses(SMBs) in the digital revolution. The death of money means inclusion is timely and needed. For a house cleaner or landscaper NOT to be able to accept credit cards when few carry money or checkbooks anymore will limit their ability to become profitable, to grow.
When I co-founded my first company, Found Objects a specialty gift distributor now RIP, in 1999 banks did not want SMBs to be able to accept credit cards. We had to fight for a Visa machine and the fee was high, a full point higher than Dorsey’s Square. The banks were afraid we would use our Visa machine to steal from them, and they made that feeling abundantly clear.
Fifteen years later banks still don ‘t get it. Banks can’t think like Internet marketers. Internet marketers know when the over, what is to be gained, is so much greater than the under, what is at risk, the web can step in, create an app and a smooth way to solve a pain point. Internet marketers knows to do that deal, the deal where over exceeds under, and fast before others get there first.
Now put a small rectangle credit card swipper on your smart phone or iPad, power it with an app and within seconds secure transactions happen. Square’s app + swipper means Found Objects, your maid, favorite charity, dentist or that delicious food truck you frequent has easy access to the new money, the digital connected money, the only money we will use soon
Implications of POS Revolution For SMBsEven web pure plays, online stores with no brick and mortar, should have Square. At Found Objects we had an annual sale at our warehouse to clear the floor for new merchandise. Square would be perfect. At the end of trade shows we didn’t want to ship samples so we sold them. Square would be perfect. I drive by a Bonsai Tree man on the weekends. Square would be perfect.
Apple realized register lines are NOT a good thing. Register lines lower revenue, increase costs and hurt brands. Apple wants a store full of people involved like in a classroom. You never SEE the transaction on purpose. There are no registers or lines on purpose.
You can see it now right? You see how the Square, mobile devices and the mobile/social web is changing more than money. Once money becomes digital selling changes. Sales aren’t time or location specific anymore. Sales can happen anywhere at any time.
Dorsey and Square are using the web to do more than democratize credit card approval. Square, much like the Apple store changed retailing, is changing the nature, time, place and volume of the transactions themselves
Websites Are Dead TooIn Platforms vs. Websites I shared a journey that led to specific conclusion – closed loop websites (those without User Generated Content) are dead and gone. They simply can’t compete. Websites must be open, social and in constant motion.
Square amplifies Web Marketing 3.0’s openness in important ways. Square + Mobile is a merchandising, selling and marketing revolution we are only beginning to understand. What is clear is everything is different and getting more so faster. What isn’t clear is how YOUR business needs to change, but here are a few possible changes headed your way:
- Ecommerce sites must look great on mobile devices.
- Mobile Information mapping and presentation is different.
- Visual information is crushing non-visual presentation.
- Video marketing tsunami is almost here.
- Infographics are spring from everyplace and on every subject.
- Transaction democracy means POS must be re-imagined too.
We may not know every implication of Square + Mobile + Social, but we know there are significant changes ahead and that is more than nothing (lol). Stay with @ScentTrail and @Atlanticbt for more on the death of money and its many implications.