Square Baits New Merchants with Payments

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Jack Dorsey wants Square to be a one stop shop and is baiting merchants with its new payment integration tool. 

Square launched new API tools on Wednesday (March 30) for online and retail stores who “with few lines of codes can seamlessly integrate Square into the checkout process.” The company is going after payment giants like PayPal, Braintree and Stripe alluring merchants with an easier-to-use payment tool and is priced similarly at 2.9 percent and 30 cents per transaction.

For its erstwhile customers, picking Square over rivals makes sense given the integration between online and offline sales and for the businesses that do not use Square, the company wants to handcuff them.

At the time of founding, Square’s primary business model was a merchant-first approach. It went after 27 million micro merchants who hitherto were invisible to incumbent players in the space. It took in these small heterogenous group of merchants and equipped and trained them with a dongle to accept card payments for a flat fee.

And now its plan to consolidate a fragmented customer base seems to be working thus far. It recently swapped out its merchant cash advances for bank loans again, similar to PayPal’s loan products.

But why launch a payment tool now? Almost 46 percent of shopping cart abandonment happens at the payment stage frustrating buyers with a lengthy checkout form.  And this new API allows online stores to integrate a simple checkout form for card details unlike Stripe which requires an e-wallet sign up. It also launched an API for inventory, payroll management and for registers which can integrate Square’s payment tool with custom point of sale software.

Square is hoping that merchants come for payments and stay for more. “Sellers, even if they don’t have an offline presence today, will have ambitions for where their business wants to go and will choose a provider that, regardless of how their business grows, will be there with them,” Square’s head of engineering Alyssa Henry told Forbes.

What’s next for Square’s gung ho growth?


Last modified: April 20, 2019

Category: payments

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