We ask/tell Alexa everything. I can ask for lights to be dimmed, change colors; music turned on, turned up – why can’t I ask Alexa to ring up a transaction on my POS?

Watching one-person working behind the counter at your local coffee shop – we all see the struggle of multitasking, putting gloves on to make a snack, taking them off to ring someone in – wouldn’t it all be easier if we could expand our senses and use voice & audio to complete a purchase?

The sound of coins being tossed into a tip jar used to be how a customer could broadcast their appreciation for good service. Today with digital payments, regular customers loose the ability to broadcast that feedback and receive recognition for their generosity.

What it does

CashEAR is the audio-based point of sales assistant. We’ve eliminated the need for touch from the cashier when accepting cards at checkout.

  • Voice initiated transaction
  • Connects payment total to Square POS Terminal using Alex voice controls
  • Handsfree cashier checkout
  • Clinq identify and track your most generous customers using audio cueing for tips!

How we built it

  • Simple PHP web-application was setup to receive request from a custom Amazon Alexa Skill which then uses the Terminal API to send request directly to the card reader.
  • The web application listens for web-hooks from payment.created and evaluates the card and tip data to play an audible que.

Challenges we ran into

  • We wanted to do a visual demo of it all working together, Square Terminal API does not really support the sandbox so we ordered real card readers and used gift cards for some testing.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • The idea if adopted by large franchises could significantly reduce environmental waste.
  • The concept of using a Card's BIN data to make assumptions about the income level and status of customer, and how that may more accurately depict generosity is a powerful concept with several applications.

What we learned

  • Square has a very robust developer platform. Many think of them as a payment provider, but the wide range of Customer, Loyalty, and Invoicing is impressive.

What's next for CashEAR

  • Would would love to build it out the application to be more robust to support self-service onboarding.
  • We would like to add the ability to add the ability to use Voice to perform Invoicing from home or on the go.
  • We would like to work on refining the generosity model to make it more intelligent and collect more issuer and location data to help refine generosity identification.
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