Introducing Square Reader SDK: Opening Up Square Hardware to Every Developer for the First Time

Introducing Square Reader SDK: Opening Up Square Hardware to Every Developer for the First Time
Square Reader SDK is a complete toolkit that enables developers to reimagine the checkout experience for sellers and buyers and build custom, in-person checkout experiences.
by Mallory A. Russell Aug 02, 2018 — 3 min read
Introducing Square Reader SDK: Opening Up Square Hardware to Every Developer for the First Time

Carl Perry, Developer Platform Lead

Today we’re excited to announce Square Reader SDK, a complete toolkit that enables developers to reimagine the checkout experience for sellers and buyers.

While we’ve built some of the best point-of-sale software on the market, we know that many industries have niche needs and businesses may need unique experiences that aren’t served by our existing products. That’s why we’re opening up our platform and providing developers direct access to Square hardware for the very first time.

Square Reader SDK is a set of developer tools for building custom, in-person checkout experiences. For the first time, iOS and Android developers can build unique checkout or point-of-sale applications like self-ordering kiosks, mobile points of sale, in-store line-busting apps, and more on top of Square’s hardware and payments ecosystem.

These customized solutions enable developers to work with existing Square merchants in popular industries such as retail and restaurants as well as new sellers in verticals not traditionally supported by Square, like transportation and health care. Ultimately, developers will use this SDK to help new types of businesses take payments with Square for the first time, help grow sales for existing sellers, and build more powerful and compelling experiences for both buyers and sellers.

The SDK provides secure payments through taps, dips, and swipes by enabling developers to integrate their application with Square’s elegant and affordable hardware. And it makes it easy for developers to deploy their apps across thousands of devices while also integrating them with critical business solutions like customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Reader SDK is designed to be so simple and intuitive that a developer can integrate it, purchase a Square card reader online or at a store, and take payments minutes later. Nearly a dozen sellers and developers in a range of industries have already built and deployed applications that are running the SDK at scale during our early access program:

Shake Shack partnered with the design and development agency Fuzz to build a self-service kiosk at its “Shack of the Future” in New York City and at pop-up locations, where customers can order their food and pay with a card all on their own. The kiosk drives down wait times for customers and enables Shake Shack employees to focus on providing a world-class customer experience from the moment diners enter the restaurant.


“Square offers us a way to think outside of the box in terms of what’s possible for transactions and experiences in-Shack. We’re freed from the restrictions put on us by legacy products, and the Square suite of tools enables a variety of new opportunities,” said Anoop Pillarisetti, Digital Product & Strategy at Shake Shack.

Added Adam Mack, Lead System Architect at Fuzz, the company that built Shake Shack’s self-service kiosk, “The Square Reader SDK is one of the few products where an engineer who knows iOS but has zero domain knowledge in payments can build a secure, compliant solution that has hardware talking to apps. Developers can do what they’re good at, while Square can do what it’s good at.”

Joe and the Juice was looking for a reliable and customizable new point-of-sale system that didn’t need to be built from scratch for its U.S. launch. It used Square’s existing payment flow and built-in tipping functionality in its custom point of sale and combined it with Square Stand to create an elegant new checkout flow. Today Joe and the Juice uses these terminals in 44 stores across the U.S.

Infinite Peripherals, an expert in developing mobile enterprise solutions, built ezMetr, a next-generation digital taxi meter that is currently used by thousands of taxi drivers to take card payments. With ezMetr, cab drivers can upgrade their payments technology to better compete against ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft. In just six months, ezMetr has been used by 12 million passengers who have ridden more than 20 million miles. It has launched as the preferred choice for taxi cabs in Washington, D.C., with other cities coming soon.

“The Square Reader SDK and Square APIs have been very easy to work with and are enterprise-grade. The simplicity and built-in PCI-DSS compliance is taking the complexity out of large-scale deployments and is an easy choice for our development efforts,” said John Broderick, CTO of Infinite Peripherals, the developer of the ezMetr platform.

QuiqMeds built a mobile application for health-care professionals to dispense medication at the point of care so patients never have to make a second trip to a pharmacy. The health-care industry has high security standards and complex backend systems, but QuiqMeds found that Square easily met these requirements. Its mobile platform takes patient copays and enables providers to dispense medication in the doctor’s office, hospitals, or right at the patient’s bedside, saving both patients and providers time and money.


We’re excited to continue expanding the Square Developer platform with Reader SDK. Since we launched the developer platform two years ago, a thriving developer community is now building incredible new experiences with Square every day. With dozens of APIs that enable developers to integrate Square with their online store, mobile app, or third-party software and more than 100 partnerships, we can’t wait to see what the Reader SDK will help developers dream up next.

Developers can get started using the Square Reader SDK today or they can learn more on our Developer blog.

Mallory A. Russell
Mallory Russell is the Head of Content Marketing at Square.


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