back to article It's hip to be Square: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's other firm targets White Van Man

Ever wandered into a bank on weekday morning and marvelled at length of the queue? In a supposedly cashless era, it's the sight of a nation of shopkeepers depositing its cash. Co-founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Square brings credit card payments to merchants who'd find them otherwise prohibitively complicated and expensive …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We once looked at PayPal Here

    ...but the reviews were pretty terrible with failing to connect and poor customer support. Nothing worse than getting everything lined up and ready for a customer, only to find there is now way for them to pay.

    If one thing this needs, is rock solid reliability. If it can do that, then it's in with a shout.


    1. 89724102371719511892724I9705670349743096734346773478647852349863592355648544996313855148583659264921

      Re: We once looked at PayPal Here

      Getting money OUT of Paypal's grasp and into your account is a bloody nightmare sometimes.

  2. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

    Startup finagling

    Little known fact: when Square was just a little startup, it lied about what it was doing. It claimed that it had this all-singing all-dancing wonder code which handled everything. In actual fact, the founders were doing everything manually behind the scenes. Via this bullshitting they managed to blag funding, and then actually started building that code...

    1. AndyS

      Re: Startup finagling

      That's hilarious. Talk about unscalable business practices.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Startup finagling

        Sure... but it only had to "scale" until they got funding to write the code.

    2. Agamemnon

      Re: Startup finagling

      Oh, so how The Entire (dot)COM worked.

      Carry on.

  3. anothercynic Silver badge

    Square vs iZettle...

    ... Square missed the boat in Europe when they took forever to get themselves sorted out. iZettle saw the Square USP and delivered it to Europe, showed how much better things are with it, and lo and behold, Paypal is swallowing iZettle up.

    The whole taking-debit-card-payment thing is growing and something like iZettle definitely helps. One of my preferred local taxi drivers got himself an iZettle and he says it gets used at least once a day, if not more, and as much as another one I know had it, he didn't really advertise it and hence has to deal with cash... lots of it.

  4. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Did anybody else

    Get a flashback to the opening scene of Cryptonomicon when reading about bank cash queues?

    Now the real question is whether cannabis dealers can use it, since apparently no regular bank will deal with them, regardless of state law.

    1. Agamemnon

      Re: Did anybody else

      Now that's sort of a funny thing, I was at the cannabis store a few hours ago so...Cannabis outlets in Washington State are Cash-Only ... "though I have heard" there are cannabis dispensaries in Greater Seattle that take square (and there's a link on CNNMoney FWIW), I've not personally been in one that does.

      1. Some of that is privacy in that folk generally don't want "Bought 3.5g of Alaskan Purple Thunderfuck (a real thing) + 4Lbs of Brownies" on their ATM. Some of that is the Major Banks won't touch them...HOWEVER, the place I was just at seemed to get a loan just fine for building out the interior (used to be a feed store in Redmond 30 years ago) and exterrior of the building.

      2. There is ALWAYS one of those portable ATMs in the dispensary (and the security knows to sweep for skimmers). Banks might not want in...those ATM guys will show up *Anywhere*. Someone wants a cut of that pie and the fact that it's those guys surprises me, not at all.

      3. The Inventory Management (massive stock rollover, like, daily) and Point Of Sale (Fixed AND Mobile Tablets, "server" upstairs) is so dialed-in that I'm astonished. Socketing Square into their systems would literally be Plug-And-Play (I'm excluding interoperability with existing accounting but I'll bet you QuickBooks is ~90% adoption, and that's trivial).

      The Better Half just switched from PayPal to Square for her business and it's been dreamy (guess who does "IT" for her business....go on, guess). The "POS" is an 8" Galaxy Tab with 4G, or her phone, or her other phone, or my fondleslab if it's handy, or my phone in a pinch (with DEVICE management from the $Diety console, which I thought was cool), and "Product Management" is (please forgive me, but it's true) "Robust".

      If Square is indeed picking up the industry, that gives them some states on the East Coast I don't care about, DC (care less), Colorado, and The Entire West Coast (Ca, Or, Wa) , or; The 6th largest economy in the world (I'm adjusting for our astronomical cost of living versus the UK).

      There is No Way Jack Dorsey is going to leave that money sitting on the table ... for long. And if he does? Cool! Some plucky little upstart will come along and pick it up, and they'll be rolling in dosh to do other nifty things.

  5. tempemeaty
    Thumb Down

    I trust nothing Jack Dorsey touches...

    Jack will probably do to the same thing he does with Twitter. Get the world dependent on it then if you are to conservative or to white cut off your access with poor to no excuses.

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: I trust nothing Jack Dorsey touches...

      But Square isn't really innovative, St least in Europe. PayPal, iZettle, Sumup and probably others all have type chip and pin and contactless readers and offer a similar service to Square. The square reader doesn't even seem to have a screen or a pin entry keypad.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: I trust nothing Jack Dorsey touches...

      At present, Square handles payments around $65B annually; Visa, American Express, and Mastercard combined handle around $4400B (or maybe four times that; I was too lazy to sort out whether what I found were quarterly or annual). It is likely to be quite a while before the world depends on them.

      They certainly have a niche at present. I have encountered a few restaurants and other businesses in the Salt Lake City area who use (or used) Square, and they seem satisfied with the service. On the other hand, my barber has switched them in and out a couple times based, she said, on fees or in one case temporary incompatibility between their hardware and her smart phone. This suggests their market is competitive and I see nothing to keep the giants from competing with them if it strikes them as profitable.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I trust nothing Jack Dorsey touches...

      Perhaps you stop bring a genocidal racist and society will invite you back in, buddy.

  6. Mage Silver badge

    Credit Cards

    Historically in UK & Ireland, the like of Tesco or Amazon would get automatic approval and a low charge. When we wanted to accept credit cards for our online business the processors said they wanted 8% and NO online sales, only sales in person.

    However it's all changed now, except the big guys still pay a far smaller fee.

    What does Square do that Sage doesn't do for years in UK and Ireland?

    You need a screen and keypad too.

    Also contactless is no faster than chip & pin as well as being insecure as wireless terminal can be used in a crowded place to harvest the minimum payments allowed without PIN (about €20?).

  7. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

    "When we wanted to accept credit cards for our online business the processors said they wanted 8% and NO online sales, only sales in person."

    I bought a load of bed linen in the late 70s from a market trader. He really didn't want to touch a credit card because of the charges so it was off to the bank for cash and we split the difference.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy win?

    Easiest way to beat PayPal? Don't have the £30 limit that their devices seem to have for contactless when it comes to Apple Pay etc.

  9. 89724102371719511892724I9705670349743096734346773478647852349863592355648544996313855148583659264921

    1.75% PER TRANSACTION?!?!??!

    Square's POS Card Processing Fees Are Too HIGH!

    A fair few card processing providers charge a low monthly fee. Like very low. Like £9.95. If they use third party whiteboxed payment gateway resellers, it's much, much lower than that.

    Square is too hip to be competitive.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like what the company is doing for card processing. I like the look of the card scanner device.

    What I don't like is the fact the reader itself doesn't have any form of display to show me what I'm actually going to get changed.

    There is just something about it by brain doesn't like. I get that I see the price on the paired device, but that just doesn't feel the same.

    Maybe I'm just paranoid.

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