Square on Thursday announced the general availability of its Terminal API, which allows developers to build links between the Terminal card reader and custom-built point-of-sale systems. Square points out that the API is not only designed for iOS and Android developers, but also web and desktop developers.
Terminal is Square's touchscreen alternative to legacy, keypad credit card machines. Launched in 2018, Terminal functions as an all-in-one card processing device, accepting physical debit and credit cards as well as mobile payments through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and NFC.
The wireless device is said to have all-day battery life, can process payments over Wi-Fi or Ethernet internet connections and is also able to print receipts. With this form factor, Square has pitched the device as a useful option for sellers that take payments on the go -- but also as a way to accept payments at a distance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Square's continued investment in its developer platform and partner ecosystem have proven absolutely critical, especially as developers turn to Square to help sellers get their business to adapt in the wake of COVID-19," said Pankaj Bengani, global head of partnerships at Square.
For Square, its growing portfolio of APIs reflect a broader shift that has taken place within the Jack Dorsey-founded company. Square initially launched in 2009 as a hardware company pushing technology to enable mobile payments, but its portfolio has broadened over the years to include a range of revenue-generating software and services.
The company has used its APIs to appeal to larger companies, online stores and retail chains with complex software requirements, pitching Square as an alternative to other payments processing providers. The APIs also reflect Square's focus on the developer ecosystem as part of its growth strategy.
Since 2018, Square said that the number of 90-day active developers building applications for businesses on Square's platform has grown nearly 80%. Square said it has also more than quadrupled it's base of managed partners since 2018, and more than doubled seller adoption of partner solutions. The company expects to reach 1 million total partner-connected sellers in 2021.
Terminal API is available today in the US, CA, UK, and AU.