Jack Dorsey-led mobile payments company, Square, has today announced that it is stepping foot into Europe, starting with the United Kingdom. This development comes almost a year after the company set up its new business entity called ‘Squareup Europe’ for the said region. It marks the company’s official entry into the region, which had been expecting its launch for so long.
The United Kingdom marks Square’s first move to cover ground across the European market, while the fifth one across the globe. This follows pursuit to its recent expansion to Australia last year, whereas the service has been available in U.S, Canada, and Japan for quite some time now. The payments platform is now open and available to all U.K.-based business owners, with a broader expansion across Europe in store, as mentioned by Dorsey in London this morning.
Commenting on their expansion, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square (also the CEO of Twitter) said,
We founded Square to empower small businesses with tools to accept all forms of payment and to make a sale anytime, anywhere. We look forward to working alongside the millions of entrepreneurs and thriving small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, especially those who do not yet take card payments.
Through this expansion, Square is starting off with a handful of sellers and partners of the industry but will now be looking to extend its core product to even more business owners across the U.K. The company believes that most businesses nowadays own a tablet or smartphone, which can easily be transformed into a payments terminal. This will be coupled with the Square Reader, which business owners will have to purchase for £39. This can then be connected to the hand-held device running the free Square Point of Sale (PoS) app via Bluetooth.
Further, Square emphasizes the point that they’ll always keep the transaction fee competitive and flat at 1.75% for in-person payments, and 2.5% for all other transactions. These include payments made online, via smartphone or an electronic invoice, with no minimum transaction value. The company’s free point-of-sale software Register has been available in the U.K since 2014 and allows users to take virtual payments.
According to a survey, an average U.K adult now carries less than £25 in cash, and 70 percent of shoppers prefer to pay by card. But, the shoppers in the country, about 5.4 million small and medium-scale businesses, still do not have point-of-sale machines to accept card payments. And Square is excited to make its offerings available to these businesses across the country to cater to their problems. With regards to the same, Sarah Harvey, Square UK Country Manager said:
Whether you’re a plumber, an accountant, a cafe or a corner shop owner, Square can help your business thrive. Our simple hardware, transparent pricing and our suite of business tools make it easy and cost-effective for you to accept cards and manage your payments, and for your customers to pay with their card.
Thus, Square is now looking to compete with widely popular fintech startups which have sprouted in the local scene such as Monzo, iZettle, PayPal, SumUp and more. And the payments company has been performing quite well as it has managed to beat Wall Street expectations. Although it operated in a loss, the losses were less than what was being expected in the fourth quarter. Twitter, on the other hand, has been plagued with stagnant user growth and senior-level exits in the last couple of months.