Ringing Up #DECASBE Sales with Square

My teen years were spent ringing up items on manual cash registers, where I had to add on tax after consulting a chart and then figure out (in my head) the change owed to the customer.  How times have changed with technology and the elimination of even electronic cash registers!

The SBE operated by my DECA members has successfully implemented the Square point-of-sale system as a replacement for our electric cash registers, which replaced our moneybox used in years prior. 

Square is quite simple: You download the free app onto an iPad and are ready to be in business.  Students took photos of the various items available for sale in our SBE and then made tabs for each of the categories (food, school supplies, spirit wear, drinks, other) under which each photo would be placed. This allows workers to touch the screen of the item sold and prevents any error in entering incorrect prices, while at the same time, removing that item from inventory.

The system has a low start-up cost (you will need an iPad) and offers several hardware options.  We opted for the stand ($99), cash drawer ($230), printer ($220) and scanner ($135) and found ourselves spending less than half what other major POS were advertising.

Sales have increased since accepting credit cards and Square has an affordable processing fee of 2.75% per swipe. Customers sign the screen using their finger and have the option of having receipts printed, texted or emailed. Deposits are electronically made into the school bank account within 24 hours and all transactions are recorded online. 

As an advisor, I enjoy how the inventory is managed online and can be printed out for students to do manual counts (to determine shrinkage or spoilage). The system is set-up to offer discounts in both percentage and money off increments. Options are available to use your system on an iPhone or iPad and are perfect for use at sporting events away from your SBE. We require students to make a minimum $3 purchase when using a credit card as well as show photo identification which matches the name on the card.

Whenever I have questions on how to try something new in Square, my students are eager to figure it out and show me how it works. They truly have taken ownership of the new system and catch on quickly. Errors keying in incorrect pricing have been eliminated and students are eager to sign up for the role of SBE cashier. Customers enjoy the ease of using their credit cards and not needing to carry cash.

Despite being more than double my students age, I cannot speak highly enough about the ease of use this system provides and how fast it is to implement within your school. It’s hip to be Square!

Follow Thomas on Twitter @DrTomGriffin.

Categories: Chapter Resources, Comprehensive Learning Program, School-based Enterprises