There are over 27 million small businesses in the US. They account for a large percentage of all US sales. These are the businesses in your neighborhood or town. Like that mom-and-pop stationery store where you buy birthday cards, the fast-food franchise where you pick up dinner on your way home, your local pizza joint, or your dentist. You'll find Square merchants in your neighborhood.
One of the motivations is to build an app that is fast, easy to use, and reliable using the Square platform. Imagine a variety of situations where businesses need to serve many customers in a short time e.g. intense periods of service: breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner; game or event-related crunch periods; and seasonal rushes. It becomes very important to provide different channels for accepting payments both online and in-person.
Also, it is important to build an app that better manages merchant's backend. Merchants want to trust that the data that shows up in reporting is correct and easy to understand.
Lastly, I wanted to build an app that increases engagement with customers. This includes recognition and rewards for loyal customers offered by the Merchants by integrating the Square loyalty API.
What it does
Zaastry web software is used for accepting online ordering and payments from customers using Square APIs and SDKs. The Terminal POS and PaymentEye software in the merchant shop are used for accepting in-person payments using the Square Terminal device
How we built it
Square Loyalty, Customers, Catalog, Devices, Team, Orders, and Payments APIs and SDKs were used. The payments SDK used in the web application is known as the Web Payment SDK for online food ordering and payments. For in-person payments at the shop, the PaymentEye Artificial Intelligence (AI) software is combined with the Square Terminal device for accepting payments from customers. The AI software running on a raspberry Pi 4 was built with python, flask, and tensorflow for computer vision and pastry detections. I have also created a mobile responsive and progressive web app (PWA) for accepting payments manually using a credit/debit card as well as sending charged amounts to the Square terminal device for payment via a web service.
Challenges we ran into
Using the Customers objects and APIs, it should be easier to add custom fields like usernames and passwords for customers.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Turning the initial idea into a working prototype while using various technologies.
What we learned
Understanding the various technologies and Square toolkits for creating payment solutions in the fintech and retail space.
What's next for Zaastry with PaymentEye
On the roadmap is the addition of a kiosk for in-person payments, and the addition of multiple payment methods like ACH and Google Pay wallet. Also, it would be nice to use the Inventory APIs.