Created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square is a credit card processor that you can attach to your Android, iPad or iPhone that allows you to swipe credit cards on the fly. It has given a lot of small business owners and independent sellers access to mobile payment that, in the words of Square, is “simple, fair and transparent.”
How does Square work?
The secret to Square’s success and value is its access to piles of data collected through the processing of credit cards. Currently, most of Square’s revenue is from the 1 percent cut they take from each transaction – and with an estimated $30 billion in transactions, Square is making big bucks.
I came across this neat service one day at my home when a small business owner I had called over was done and asked me for my credit card. He pulled out his smartphone and swiped my credit card across this little dongle connected to the headphone jack of his smartphone. He then passed me his phone and I typed in my cell number (I could have provided an email address instead), and it texted me a link to my receipt which I was able to easily print. Super convenient and easy! No need for a printer on his part. Immediately I decided to look up this great service to find out more.
Square launches several new products
Despite a loss of $100 million due to the delay of its public offering in 2013, Square has managed to shore up its losses and bounce back by securing a $225 million line of credit, developing their business model, and launching new products.
The company has launched Square Capital, which allows eligible small businesses access to funds that they can then use for hiring, buying equipment, etc. The firm’s fast moving transaction process (they can send loans the next business day) as well as their open-mindedness when it comes to unconventional business concepts sets them apart from their competitors in the financial industry. They also offer other products that ease transactions such as Pickup, which allows customers to order online in advance, and Register Offline, which allows sellers to accept credit card payments even when temporarily offline. Square also features products that aim to lighten the e-commerce management load, one of which is Inventory Tracking, a free service that lets sellers track item stock seamlessly.