Mobile Enables New Businesses ... Can You Name One?

I was in San Diego airport this past weekend on my way home to San Francisco. A nurse in the airport was offering vaccinations and flu shots. Not so interesting I know. What was interesting is that she was using an iPad with a "Square" (see product description or https://squareup.com) to collect payment with a credit card. I stopped, of course, to talk with her about her experience.

A year ago they accepted cash or check only. Now they accept credit cards. They used the software provided by Square to build out an application that allows one to choose the vaccinations. The application compiles an itemized bill. The card is read by the Square and processed. The customer signs with a finger on the iPad. And . . . the customer can get a receipt via email immediately. End result? More accurate records. Real-time bookkeeping. More revenue b/c more payment options.

Intuit and others offer payment mechanisms through mobile phones and other portable devices with connectivity. These innovations will continue to enable small businesses and entrepreneurs to pursue new ideas . . . and in this case simplify the payment process. Totally cool. I love seeing ideas like this. Please post comments to this blog if there are others I should see.

Comments

MyCRM?

Just had to bring up the obvious: Being able to answer the phone when on the road. Many mobile devices still maintain a feature, where SMB-owners can make calls and stay connected when on the road and without having to employ receptionist. That's pretty useful.

Besides that maybe the standalone MyCRM will do for a SMB enabler on the smartphone: http://www.serenaware.com/myCRM/tabid/84/Default.aspx

Square for SMB

Julie - I can't tell you how surprised and excited I was when I ran into a small business owner using a square. My buddies and I were in the middle of nowhere Kansas (Kingman, KS to be exact) for a weekend bird hunting trip. As our guide was getting all the paper work taken care of, he whipped out his phone, plugged in the Square, and we were off to the races.

After the transaction we asked why he switched to the Square and to him, the decision was simple. It is cheaper, he gets paid faster, and allows for more payment types.

I was impressed. Mass adoption can't be too far away if Kingman, Kansas has already jumped in.