October 24, 2012 8:07am
Square, the mobile payment system that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey launched, has expanded into Canada. This is the first expansion outside the United States since the service launch back in May of 2010. According to a press release this morning Square has 2 million users and is seeing over “$8 billion in annualized payments.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Square, it’s a dongle that can be attached to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and gives individuals/business the ability to accept credit card payments. The accepted credit cards in Canada are Visa and MasterCard, but in the United States they also have American Express and Discover. To get the dongle, which is free, you’ll have to sign up via their site, plus also download the Square app. Square makes their money every time a transaction has occurred, which is currently set at 2.75% per swipe (to the owner of the dongle, not the customer). There’s no other fees involved and Square states that funds from swiped payments are available the next business day, eliminating the wait for cash flow.”
Alyssa Cutright, VP of International for Square, stated “We are focused on making commerce easy for everyone. Square builds free tools for local businesses of all sizes and types to thrive. We’re thrilled to introduce Canadian businesses and their customers to the most seamless and enjoyable way to do business.”
Other Square comes to Canada at an interesting time as we’re just getting more companies hopping on the mobile payment train. Over the last year we’ve seen Payfirma come out with their dongle, Intuit “GoPayment,” Moneris started to promote ”PAYD,” and more recently PayPal announced, but not available yet, “PayPal Here.” In addition, Rogers and CIBC will be launching their mobile payment service “suretap” this month.
So there’s lots of interest in the mobile payment/mobile banking space. Now, Canadians need to feel comfortable accepting or paying via their device.