The two services—instant deposits and protection for disputed purchases—indicate the well-funded startup ($500 million) is moving away from trying to compete for consumers (it shut down its digital wallet product) and is concentrating on providing financial services to small businesses. Its first step in this process is focused on extending its relationships with current users of its merchant processing services.
Previously launched services
The company started with a product that offered small businesses an easy way to accept credit card payments by using its now-ubiquitous one-inch square credit card reader that can plug into a smartphone or tablet.
The new services are in addition to previously launched services:
- Square Capital: a money lending program for small businesses that use Square.
- Square Cash: a smartphone app that lets users freely send money to one another’s debit accounts.
Square faces stiff competition
According to the Times, “Square now wishes to be known as a company building services for small businesses, buttressed by the huge amount of data collected from the millions of credit card swipes it processes daily.”
It won’t be easy, however. The marketplace for such services is highly competitive and includes some heavy hitters, including: PayPal (specifically, the products and services of Braintree, a company it acquired last year), First Data (a long-time leader in payment processing) and Amazon (Amazon Payments), all of which offer their own credit card readers and related services.
(Photo: Square Inc.)