Square expands mobile payments to Verizon, Angie's List customers
Square is adding two more high-profile partners to its fast-growing mobile payments network, announcing new agreements with Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and consumer review site Angie's List.
Beginning today, Verizon Wireless stores across the U.S. will sell Square's signature Card Reader for $9.97, along with a $10 Square account credit. Square Card Reader enables small businesses to swipe credit and debit cards through a dongle plugged into an iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Square charges a flat fee of 2.75 percent on all purchases, lower than conventional credit and debit card transactions, and promises no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs. Funds are deposited into customers' bank accounts within 24 hours on average.
Verizon rival AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) began selling the Square Card Reader in its own U.S. retail stores in August 2012. Both operators, along with T-Mobile USA, are also spearheading Isis, the contactless payment joint venture that kicked off consumer trials in the Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas markets last fall. While Isis relies on Near Field Communications technologies instead of a dongle-based approach, Square nevertheless poses a growing competitive threat to the operator-led effort, and now the Square Card Reader will be available in the same stores that also sell Verizon's Isis-ready smartphones.
Square Card Reader is now available for purchase at more than 30,000 retail locations nationwide. Additional partners include Starbucks, Walmart, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Target, Walgreens, Best Buy and Staples.
On Wednesday, Square also revealed it is now partnering with Angie's List, which offers more than 1.7 million paid households access to reviews spotlighting local professionals across more than 550 service categories from home improvement to healthcare. By integrating Square software, the Angie's List Business Center app for iOS now enables small business owners armed with Square Card Readers to accept payments in the field, track online purchases, create invoices and view free analytics reports.
Square now processes $10 billion in annual mobile payment transactions. More than 2 million U.S. businesses and individuals use its services. In September 2012, Square closed a Series D financing round led by investors including Citi Ventures and Rizvi Traverse Management; The New York Times reported the round totals about $200 million, valuing the startup at $3.25 billion.
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