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digital wallet option for small business and vendors: square up

square up looks to offer small business an easy mobile payment solution. Overnight deposits, free reader, low fees, easy to use app



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For small business and vendors, Square up is a new mobile payment with the vision to transform payments for complex to simple. The digital wallet reader and square 'register' applications are designed to be intuitive, cost structure provides two main fee options: low $275 monthly fee for all transactions (if total remains under $250K) OR 2.75% per swipe. Reader is free, and works with IOS and latest Android OS. In essence, the goal of Square (founded by Twitter's Jack Dorsey) is to solve a common problem for small business. Consumers WANT to use their credit card, but transactions costs are high and another headache for already overburdened owners.

key highlights

square fees and options


other features

First, square's 'say your name feature might be a 'love it' or 'hate it' feature. Concept is to make transactions super quick for customers who have the square app. Vendors sees their face and name, customer simply confirms without signature. If you're under 30 you probably love it, but for many of us, we'll just go ahead and pay the 'usual way'. Since customers have the option, not much impact on the vendor except the potential to process more quickly.

Square claims to use better analytics than many of the major banks and financial institutions, to help keep its fraud costs lower. Good idea to improve fraud protection and as all costs are passed to customers, might help keep fees low. We expect analytics on the 'register' side to be a strong asset for small business to use as it evolves.

what's coming

Square is already being implemented in Starbucks nationwide, this rollout creates customer awareness as payment systems require customer trust. Social integration should continue to be strong with Square, and could increase social 'word of mouth' for small vendors looking to attract new customers.

what you can use today

Since the reader is free, if a small vendor has the iPad, iPhone5s or latest Android OS, Square might be worth simply trying out on a pilot basis at first. In particular, we like square for vendors who need technology that is very intuitive, since the company caters to design simplicity and ease of use. In a complicated world and with so much on your plate, small businesses need to focus on their products, and let technology ease burdens when possible. Find out more from square.


possible concerns

Since Square is an aggegator, companies like visa and MasterCard can increase fees. Also, both Visa and MasterCard are developing wallet apps and creating partnerships which COULD hurt square in the long-run.

bottom line

So far, Square's focus on innovation and targeting should protect while they build their brand. For a small business, you already know that changes are inevitable, but in the next few years Square will continue to be a strong option for small vendor. Digital wallet options will be evolving quickly, square should continue to be a strong player and its focus on small business payment should deliver the unique demands of small business owners.

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