Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

Free "Square" app turns your smartphone into a cash register


Desiree Prieto

Okay. So I know I’m supposed to be writing about the first ever fashion component that took place this past week at South by Southwest (SXSW).

In addition, I should really be telling you not only about how, in 24 years, it’s the first time fashion has participated at the mega conference, but also how I attended the first ever runway show featuring musicians from SXSW modeling in exhibiting designers’ clothes, sunglasses and accessories.

I should also be telling you about how Keds is currently touring the country, asking an awesome designer from each city, like Austin, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston to design a pair of Keds that reflects each city’s character and charm.

I should probably also tell you about the newest W Hotel in North America, where I happened to have drinks and dinner tonight.

However, all I can think about right now is how my smart phone has suddenly turned into a cash register.

A cash register? That’s right, a freaking cash register! Genius. And didn’t you wish you thought of this application for your smart phone or android?

At exhibit hall number four of the Austin Convention Center stood the “Square” booth. A San Francisco-based company, Square produces the Square, which is exactly that: a little white plastic square that plugs into your smart phone or android, allowing you to swipe a credit card, and charge that card, sending money into your bank account in moments.


Confused? Imagine that you’re at the W Hotel tonight in, I don’t know, Austin, Chicago, or NYC. Imagine that you’re at the end of your dinner with four friends. Imagine that you’re about to pay the bill, and need to split it four ways. You don’t want to bug the server to split the bill because you don’t want to be “that table.”

If you have Square, then you can choose to pay the entire bill on your own, and then have each of your four friends swipe their card onto your Square, type in the amount they owe you, like $30, and then suddenly, voila—$30 is transferred into your bank account, just like that.

Can you imagine? I’m thinking it’s time to take out a bunch of friends, get them roaring drunk, and have them hand over their credit cards at the end of the night.

If you’re excited about the potential of your phone becoming a cash register, you’ll be even more excited to learn that this app is entirely FREE! You can log on to the Square website, download the application onto your iPhone or Droid device, then activate your account in minutes (while the actual tiny little Square device gets sent to you).

I don’t know about you, but I simply cannot think of anything more fashionable and trendy today than downloading money to yourself!

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