Build with Square's goal to empower sellers catches developers' attention

Square sales summary

Thanks to mobile payment company Square, point-of-sale (POS) developers now can leverage new application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to help sellers "run every part of their business in one place."

Square last month unveiled Build with Square, a collection of APIs that empowers sellers to "start, run, and grow their entire business with one cohesive system."

"We heard from both our sellers and developers that they wanted the ability to integrate their custom online and offline solutions with Square payments," Carl Perry, developer lead at Square, said in an interview with FierceDeveloper. "We listened to these requests."

Build with Square delivers an end-to-end solution for offline and online sales. It enables developers to build an ecosystem for businesses to seamlessly accept payments online, in store or on the go.

In addition, Square's Payments APIs (E-commerce API and Register API) allow developers to create customizable solutions that work for businesses of all sizes.

Understanding the E-commerce API and Register API

Square's E-commerce API enables sellers to use Square to process online payments on their own self-hosted, fully developed website.

This API can be integrated into a website and gives sellers "a powerful solution to grow both their online and offline businesses together," according to Square.

Plus, the E-commerce API tracks all sales -- regardless of location -- in one dashboard.

The Register API, on the other hand, allows for sellers to deploy custom point-of-sale solutions, according to Square.

This API enables sellers to integrate their third-party POS hardware with Square, ensuring they can accept both EMV and Apple Pay.

Build with Square also delivers a number of other APIs, including:

  • Items API -- Enables sellers to manage item catalogs and pricing and integrate the products or services they provide with inventory management software.

  • Reporting API -- Allows sellers to sync sales, refund, tax and deposit information with any app or system. 

  • Employees API -- Provides sellers with the ability to manage employee roles and permissions. 

Perry said that Square is committed to empowering offline businesses with omni-channel needs. As such, he said, Build with Square stands out from Shopify, Moltin and other commerce solutions because it provides a single platform for sellers to manage all aspects of their businesses. 

"No one on the market is serving sellers who are looking to one platform with which they can run their business, both online and offline," Perry says. "Everyone else is trying to work on one part. This is what has always made Square unique -- we're building one cohesive commerce ecosystem, which now includes online payments."

Nexternal partners with Square

So what does Build with Square mean for developers? To better understand its impact, consider how POS developer Nexternal has already benefited from collaborating with Square.

Nexternal was searching for an API it could use to offer payment capture last year and began working with Square in July. The developer launched HighJump Engage, an iPad POS app for retail merchants and ultimately proved to be ahead of the curve in terms of EMV and Apple Pay.

"Working with Square makes it super simple for our clients to take in-person orders from clients and have a convenient way to capture and process their credit card information," Craig Ross, Nexternal's vice president of Sales, said. 

Many HighJump Engage customers have true omni-channel requirements and ambitions, Ross says.

With the combination of HighJump Engage and Square, Ross notes that Nexternal's clients "have a simple way to execute their omni-channel strategies." 

"The transition from eCommerce to omni-channel is still in its infancy so we expect Square to play a big role for our clients going forward," he adds.

The future of Build with Square

Nexternal anticipates the relationship will foster long-lasting rewards for both companies.

Craig Ross, Nexternal


"Partnering with Square alleviated us from having to get into the weeds with these technologies, and allowed us to focus our time on our app," Nexternal Vice President Alex Gile said in a blog post. "Beyond its simplicity, Square has established itself as a trusted payment processor and we've found our customers to be both comfortable and familiar with it." 

Perry points out Build with Square offers immense promise for developers and sellers as well.

"In just two lines of code, developers can enable their customers (sellers) with a single view of all payments, regardless of where such payments are taken," he says.

Square will continue to look for new tools to bring to developers that can help them fulfill sellers' needs going forward, Perry notes. 

The company also intends to examine new ways to help sellers use its platform -- regardless of what they sell or how they sell it. 

"Whether your business is offline, online or both, Build with Square gives you access to Square's transparent pricing, fast settlement, financial services, and affordable hardware," Perry says. 

Device images courtesy of Square.