A preview of the team member badges product. A screen for entering a passcode is displayed in the Square app in the background. A Square Reader floats nearby in the foreground.

Team member badges

Square · 2021 – 2022


The primary option sellers had to protect their Square Point of Sale system from unauthorized access was 4-digit passcodes. These passcodes are easy to see over someone’s shoulder, are easier to guess the more employees there are, and allow team members to circumvent the system by logging in for each other. To solve these problems, we set out to create a more secure authentication method for sellers.


We launched team member badges, which are plastic NFC cards employees can use with Square’s hardware to log in and clock at the point of sale. We created a simple pairing flow that allows sellers to assign badges to their team members, and designed a login flow that’s near instantaneous.

To set the course for this work, we ran UX research with some of Square’s biggest sellers who had been requesting this functionality for years. We worked with a diverse team across software and hardware to update the firmware on our products, ultimately allowing them to interact with something other than a payment card (a first for Square).

A screen prompting the user to tap their badge on the Square Reader to add the badge, displayed on a tablet.
A team management screen on a mobile device showing a list of team members with details, including names and roles. A white badge card with a cut out slot on the left and a Square logo in the top right corner.
A screen showing instructions for activating a badge by tapping it on a Square Reader, displayed on both a tablet and a mobile device.
An animated GIF of a login screen showing a passcode entry interface, with six circles to indicate passcode length. The six circles morph into a pulsing NFC icon, and then morph back. An animated GIF of a login screen showing a passcode entry interface, with six circles to indicate passcode length. The circles and PIN component shrink and fade out, and are replaced by a pulsing NFC icon.
A login screen with a numeric keypad for entering a passcode or using a badge, displayed on a tablet.
A review screen with a checklist for managing a team member's profile, jobs, access, and optional payroll information, with all tasks except payroll marked as completed.

Next up

Square’s complicated employee setup process led to less than 30% of employees logging into Point of Sale. Read about how I increased the setup completion rate by simplifying the experience.