Square, the US payments company that recently listed on Wall Street, is planning moves into Australia.
The company is embarking on “a local hiring spree”, targeting positions in marketing and business development, Square’s Australian country manager Ben Pfisterer told the Financial Review. Local staff, which currently stands at 12, will “at least double” this year, Pfisterer says.
So far Square has only launched its Register app in Australia, a point-of-sale software it says has been adopted by “tens of thousands” of Australian businesses. Its signature card readers, however, have not yet come to Australia, possibly because of the wide-spread take up of chip and pin technology.
The United States, where Square built its business, has only very recently made the transition away from reliance on cards with magnetic strips.
“We have to make sure we deploy the right product, which involves a high degree of localisation … Getting [businesses] using Register is a key first step. We see payments as obviously part of our key product growth,” says Pfisterer.
“It’s something we’re looking at in great detail at the moment.”
But Square, which sells itself to merchants as an easier way to process transactions, has plenty of competitors in the Australian market. Tyro already has 14,000 small businesses using its payment terminals and Paypal recently announced it will join Eftpos’s payments infrastructure.