Square goes international with Canadian expansion
Square is taking its first steps outside of the U.S. market, expanding its mobile payment processing services to Canada.
Square's Mobile Card Reader is now available across Canada.
Square will make its signature Mobile Card Reader available to iOS and Android device users across Canada. The Card Reader enables small businesses and other users to accept credit and debit purchases by swiping cards through a small dongle that plugs into their device's audio jack. Square will charge Canadian users the same 2.75 percent per-transaction fee applied to U.S. users, and promises no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs. The Card Reader is available free via www.square.ca.
Square also will export its free Register point-of-sale application, which enables mom-and-pop businesses armed with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet to accept cash and credit transactions, manage customer loyalty programs, customize inventory and issue receipts via text, email or printed copy. According to Square, Register users are five times more active on a weekly basis than Square Card Reader users and process approximately double the revenue.
Square's existing U.S. userbase encompasses more than 2 million businesses and individuals--the firm processes more than $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis, up from $1 billion just a year ago. Beginning later this fall, Starbucks' 7,000 company-owned U.S. stores will begin processing all credit and debit card transactions using Square's mobile commerce technologies, a move to slash operational costs.
Last month, Square has closed its 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 mobile payments startup at $3.25 billion.
Square faces competition from a host of rivals including PayPal Here, which enables small businesses and other users to process transactions by swiping cards through its own, triangle-shaped dongle. PayPal Here went live this past March, and more than 200,000 merchants signed up for the service within its first month of availability. As of this month, the PayPal Here dongle is on sale at 1,800 AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) stores across the U.S. eBay-owned PayPal is on pace to handle $10 billion in mobile payment transactions in 2012, an increase of 150 percent over a year ago.
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