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I like to shop at thrift shops and used book stores and other small mom-and-pop businesses, so I'm used to using my finger to scribble my signature on a tablet when I make a purchase. The Square reader has become a staple for such small businesses, but they come with a risk: you're handing the customer your tablet. Even worse, there's often a counter between the seller and the customer, acting as a barricade and giving any would-be thieves a head start if they decided to bolt.

Square is hoping to stop these instances with the new Square Registers. While using a mobile device is still an option, Square hopes that the registers will cut down on iPad theft. The device has a customer-facing display, which means no more cumbersome back-and-forth and no need to even swivel the machine around. It connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet and downloads all the necessary updates as they hit, but it can also operate offline in case your Internet goes down. It has five USB ports, a two-year warranty, and it lets customers swipe cards, insert chips, and tap for payment.


Some retailers in select New York locations were able to test out the Square Register, but now they're available they cost either $999 up front or $49 a month for two years. It definitely seems like something that would help a small business run smoother and feels infinitely slicker than the janky tablet-over-the-counter method. The video above details all the features. And then there's the theft angle. This will definitely stop people from stealing your smartphone or tablet, because it won't even enter the equation. Whether or not they'll steal your shiny new Square Register, that's another question entirely. Some people will take anything that isn't nailed down, so the safe bet is obviously to nail your register to the counter.

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