Twitter founder launches mobile payments company Square in the UK

Company allows small and medium-sized credit card readers to accept payments on mobile devices

Anna Irrera,Heather Somerville
Tuesday 28 March 2017 15:22 BST
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, has launched Square in the United Kingdom in its first European foray
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, has launched Square in the United Kingdom in its first European foray (Getty Images)

Square, the payments company led by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, has launched in the United Kingdom in its first European foray.

The San Francisco-based company said on Tuesday that small-and medium-sized businesses in the UK would be able to use Square's credit card reader to accept payments on mobile devices.

The feature helps small merchants and self-employed professionals complete credit card transactions without a cash register or expensive software.

Square estimated that, while more shoppers were choosing plastic over cash, about half of the UK's 5.4 million small businesses do not yet take card payments.

Reuters reported in July that Square had incorporated a business called Squareup Europe in Britain and the company had been testing its payment system in London.

Square last year added Paul Deighton to its board of directors, an effort to establish its footing in the UK. Mr Deighton is a member of the House of Lords and previously served as Britain's commercial secretary to the treasury.

Square, which went public in 2015, also operates in the Canada, Japan and Australia, as well as the United States.

While the company has largely focussed on growing in the United States, startups around the world have launched similar services. In Europe, it would be competing with well-established companies such as the UK's SumUp, which is backed by Groupon, and Sweden’s iZettle. The United States' PayPal has been in Britain for years.

As it exports its flagship payments globally, Square has also been expanding into new businesses, including financial software and business loans. The company's lending division, called Square Capital, analyzes data from its merchants payment flows and offers those that qualify short-term loans at a fixed rate.


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