Square is a comparatively recent item in Canada, and despite the newness of it all, the handy way to allow most any small business to take credit cards, armed with nothing more than a mobile device and an Internet connection, is really taking off. Square recently put out some numbers about how the Canadian market is doing for Square, and despite the fact that things are just getting started, Square is doing some impressive business in the new mobile payments field.
For those not already familiar, Square operates on a transactional basis, offering its Square Register system—as well as the card reader dongle and the accompanying app, available for iPhone (News - Alert), iPad and Android devices—at no cost, but then takes a 2.75 percent fee for every transaction made with the system. That 2.75 percent, meanwhile, is meaning some pretty big business for Square, however; sufficiently so, in fact, that Square recently announced plans to establish a permanent office around Kitchener-Waterloo, and in general expand its presence in Canadian markets.
Since launching in October 2012, according to reports from Square, fully 15,000 businesses in Ontario have started using Square, accounting for fully $40 million in small business revenue. A variety of types of business, from food and grocery locations to art and film businesses to apparel and professional services and beyond are counted under Square's banner. Canadian business is apparently so important to Square as a whole that Square magnate Jack Dorsey will be returning to launch a “Let's Talk” series for Toronto small businesses on a variety of topics like building community and strengthening small business.
Canada isn't the only strong point for Square's operations; reports suggest that Square currently accounts for “millions of merchants,” and Square has processed fully $16 billion in transactions over the three countries in which it currently operates: Canada, Japan and the United States.
Square presents an exciting idea for businesses, particularly for those who previously couldn't take a credit card and didn't want to go through the hoops and hassles inherent in setting up more static credit card machine operations. It also offers a whole new alternative for more mobile businesses, like food trucks or farmer's market operations or the like, allowing those businesses to take credit cards without even the need for a power outlet. Larger businesses can use it as well, outfitting outside sales reps with an easy payment platform, allowing for a simple, all-in-one transaction system. Between the lower barriers to entry, the potential for improved business, and the added number of options that Square poses, it's really not too big of a surprise to see that Square is taking off.
But though the numbers may not seem that great in Canada right now, things are only getting started. As the number of users, and the number of things for which it is used, grows, Canada's part of Square's business is likely to only increase from here and make it a very big part of an increasingly growing operation.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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