Like many great companies before it...
Square, Inc. has become hugely successful by finding an easy-to-use solution to a problem that plagued many small business owners and individual merchants. In just 4 short years, Square has transformed itself into a juggernaut for mobile payment aggregation by revolutionizing buyer/seller transactions. They have transcended PayPal, the industry leader, and have managed to stay ahead of the curve armed with a $5 billion valuation, a brilliant co-founder in Jack Dorsey, and a new company headquarters in San Francisco to house its 600+ employees - but can Square continue its astronomic growth?
Where is Square’s possible biggest area for growth?
Simple - the international marketplace. Square first started to grow internationally by conducting business in Canada. “We’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurial spirit in Canada; a lot of people choosing to start their own business or start their own service, or really just do what they want to do,” says Jack Dorsey. Canadians are now able to accept both Visa and MasterCard payments through Square.
More recently Square has brought its mobile payment service to Japan. “The company decided to start its overseas push in Japan because of the size and maturity of the Japanese economy and the huge number of small and local businesses,” says Dorsey. Although PayPal already launched a service in Japan a year ago, Square partnered with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Corp and is offering a 3.25% transaction rate in comparison to PayPal’s 5% fee. 99% percent of all businesses in Japan are small businesses and the potential growth is unlimited. “Three-fourths of all small businesses only accept cash (in Japan) because of the costs associated with accepting credit cards,” says Masayoshi Son (CEO of SoftBank).
As this article was being written, news just dropped of Square’s planned launch into the Australian market. The company has already registered the square.com.au web address and has already brought brand awareness to Australia even before its launch. Not only is Australia in the mix, but Square has its eyes set on China and other European markets as well.
Strength in Numbers.
Partnerships have always been a key to growth for Square such as its well known alliances with Starbucks and Visa but lesser known partnerships such as their partnership with the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts will continue to strengthen the company. This partnership will start an initiative to enhance the accessibility of blind users to utilize Square. The partnership will make use of iPads and mobile devices that have “screen aloud”, or Braille technology.
Last month Square and the company announced a partnership by announcing a new Merchant case, a protective case optimized for the Square Reader and a companion iPhone 5 model. Square’s willingness to work with others will only help further its growth and Square has embraced the concept. They recently announced a new initiative called “Works with Square,” a program that will allow developers to build accessories for Square businesses with Griffin being the first of many future partnerships.
Lastly, the company does not seem to be satisfied with its current success and is continuing to push the boundaries. Just in December of 2013 alone they launched a newly designed website, acquired the company Evenly (an app to send and receive payments for splitting bills and other expenses), and revealed new and improved hardware that reads credit cards with more accuracy and compatible with even more devices. This aggressive mentality combined with a still highly effective product creates a path for growth with no ceiling.
What do you think the future holds for Square?
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