Square Considers Offering Capital to Non-Square Merchants

  • Philip Ryan
  • August 4, 2016
  • 2

Square Capital Loan VolumeSquare Capital may soon be available to non-Square merchants.

The payments firm with the famous dongle just reported on a strong quarter and its lending product, Square Capital, played an important role in it.

Square put out $189 million in capital on the quarter, an increase of 123% on the year, and 23% over last quarter. Square Capital also added five new investors that were not disclosed. Square Capital’s first investor was Victory Park Capital, a major player in the transitional capital space.

Loans sizes range from $1,000 to $100,000, while the average loan size is $6,000, Square CFO Sarah Friar said. 60,000 loans were made in the first half of 2016, compared with 70,000 loans in all of 2015.

Square also charges 1% on deposits for merchants who want their funds instantly, or in the same day. Friar said 2 million instant deposits were made in the quarter. This, behind Square Capital and the delivery service Caviar, drove the majority of Square’s $30 million data and deposit revenue.

Neil Doshi from Mizuho Bank asked about Square Capital’s differentiation from similar products offered by PayPal and American Express, and asked whether the company would consider offering capital to non-Square merchants. Friar replied:

I think we look at all alternatives here of how can we grow the overall portfolio, first core quarter capital. And it may, using the muscle of what we now — in terms of if we have payment data — how we’re able to underwrite merchants. Does that need not to be our payments data? Not necessarily. It’s certainly an option that we think about.

CEO Jack Dorsey added that Square was putting a lot of effort into its APIs and a “build-on” platform, which might broaden the reach of Square’s services as well.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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