Square rolls out in-app payments mobile SDK

Company says it's now the only 'first party omni-channel payments platform' for in-store, online and in-app.

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Square on Wednesday launched an in-app payments SDK that extends the company’s payment processing capabilities to mobile apps for the first time.

The company touted the simplicity of the process for developers saying, “With just a few lines of code, developers can easily and professionally build a fully PCI compliant, secure, and elegant Square-powered payments flow in their Android or iOS apps.” It will initially be available in the U.S. Canada, UK, Australia and Japan. It’s also available for Flutter (Google’s open-source mobile app development tool).

Smoother checkout equals more conversions. The SDK promises a “smoother checkout experience,” which can be used as-is or customized by the developer. Complex or overly long mobile checkout flows often cause shopping cart abandonment. The majority of retail traffic over the holidays was on mobile devices, but most ecommerce transactions still happen on the desktop. One of the reasons is complexity or friction in the mobile checkout process.

Various studies have found mobile shopping cart abandonment rates of 58 percent to 80 percent. Some of this is because consumers aren’t ready to buy. However, a simplified mobile checkout process can reduce those abandonment rates significantly, potentially representing billions of dollars in “saved” mobile conversions.

Omni-channel payments with ‘a unified back office.’ With this launch, Square says it’s the only first-party omnichannel payments platform, which includes in-person payments, online and now in-app. The company argues this both minimizes complexity and improves security for the business, offering “a single, unified system for back-office reporting and the ability to see a holistic view of their buyers’ behavior for easier customer service and loyalty.”

Why you should care. A friction-free mobile checkout process both improves conversion rates, as indicated, and potentially improves brand perception and loyalty. Better mobile user experiences are critical in retaining certain kinds of consumers (i.e., Millennials) who primarily shop on mobile phones. Think about how Uber (and Lyft) have disrupted traditional taxis by offering, among other things, an invisible checkout process.

The analytics dimension of this is also potentially very useful to marketers — “the ability to see a holistic view” of buyer behavior across channels.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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