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Square is doing rather well in the States

If you’ve been tracking the developments of the M-Commerce arena, you’ll most probably have had an eye on Square, the mobile payments startup.

They’ve been doing rather well of late as this post from TechCrunch points out. It’s a useful primer that’ll bring you up to date.

I’m interested to understand what the team at Square have on their minds regarding Europe (and specifically, the UK) — since we’re more or less all using Chip-n-PIN solutions apart from very few exceptions, Square’s going to need to change quite a bit to expand internationally.

Over to TechCrunch…

For disruptive mobile payments startup Square, 2011 was a year of massive growth on many levels. The startup ended the year with over 1 million merchants using the mobile payments platform to accept credit cards there are only 8 million merchants who accept credit cards in the US.

via Square Expands Retail Partnerships; Now Sold At OfficeMax And UPS Store Locations | TechCrunch.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “Square is doing rather well in the States”

Hi Ewan, I am, without fear of contradiction at this moment in time, say that neither Visa or Mastercard will give companies such as Square, iZettle etc a waiver that excluded them using Chip and Pin for authorisation. Happy to share details in private.

That’s more or less what the team at Visa said to me when I chatted with them recently Raymond — what do you think the European future for Square/etc looks like?

Raymond, worth pointint out Suqare have taken investment from Visa (and I think that includes the right for Visa to appoint a board member). On the substantive question of UK/European expansion… why? Right now the US market is huge, they hae the beginning of traction, and it;’s making them a bit of cash. They need a HUGE reserve to satisfy each new territory they are good to go (eg with Banking Regulations). I’ll say here that Square won;t jump out of the US in 2012 and (hedging, like anyone should) if they do it’l be a super limited trial with a tiny transaction limit.

Watch and see how the NFC payment trials at the Olympics goes, that’ll be more telling than “what the guy who was involved with Twitter did next” for the UK market.

I am happy to talk in private as we currently do a lot of work for Visa Europe and Mastercard in this very area, Mobile Payment Devices. But in general, unless they get device specific waivers to use them without Pin, then very slim to non-existent. 

Agree that the US market is huge and also, in payment terms, backwards. The Olympics “NFC” experience I fear will be very limited, despite what the likes of Visa, Samsung and Lloyds are saying. 

I agree — typing your PIN into someone else’s iPhone won’t feel right for a while — until we’re assured that it’s all ‘secure’ or at least as secure as possible. And that it’s backed by a big big brand. Perception, perception, perception.

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