Square, the payments company headed up by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has finally hit the UK.
Square lets independent traders take card payments through its reader: A physical, square device which plugs into a smartphone or tablet and costs £39.
There’s also the Square app for processing payments, sales data, and digital receipts. The company takes a 1.75% cut of in-person transactions, or a 2.5% cut of transactions made over the phone.
Square has been quietly trialling the UK market since at least July 2016, with partners including the Piano Bar in London’s Soho, florists Flower Girl London, and Curators Coffee. The service is already available in the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
The main challenge for Square will be the competition. Swedish rival iZettle raised $US63 million (£50 million) at the beginning of this year to fund acquisitions and expansion. Its card reader starts at £35. PayPal also offers a plug-in chip-and-pin reader, starting from £45.
Square is targeting the 5.4 million small businesses it says still aren’t taking card payments in the UK.
The company has yet to report a profit, though it did narrow its losses last year. In its fourth quarter results, it posted a loss of $US15.2 million (£12 million), up from a loss of $US80.5 million (£64 million) the prior year, according to its financial filings. Revenue was up to $US451 million, from $US439 million the prior year, and the company processed $US49.7 billion in payments through 2016.
“We founded Square to empower small businesses with tools to accept all forms of payments and to make a sale anytime, anywhere,” Dorsey said in a statement. “We look forward to working alongside the millions of entrepreneurs and thriving independent, small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, especially those who do not yet take card payments.”
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