Square Enters Its First European Market: U.K.

  • Grace Noto
  • March 28, 2017
  • 2

Square has finally arrived in Europe.

The payments company has just expanded its services to the United Kingdom, according to a statement released today. The U.K. became the fifth market where Square’s services are now available, in addition to the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia.

Square’s U.K. launch was held in a Soho bar in London, which (naturally) operates on Square’s network. The expansion of the company marks Square’s first reach to a cash-light European market (albeit a post-Brexit European market).

The company, captained by Jack Dorsey—also the CEO of Twitter—has recently celebrated its first year as a public company, with a net revenue of $452 million for 2016, according to its fourth quarter letter to shareholders.

The addition of U.K. small businesses to Square’s payments network is sure to swell this number, especially as more and more consumers lean to digital methods of payment.

The average adult consumer in the U.K. now carries less than £25 in cash, $30 U.S., give or take, Square said in a release. U.K. consumers have also been much quicker to adopt alternative payment methods, like NFC payments, than those across the pond in North America. As of December 2016, there were 102 million contactless cards issued in the U.K., a 25% increase from the prior year, according to data from The UK Cards Association.

However, according to Square, about 5 million of SMEs in the U.K. still don’t accept card payments.

The advantage of Square’s payment network, especially for small businesses, is both the low cost and the reach—U.K. sellers on the network can use Square to accept card payments, both online and at the point-of-sale, for a flat fee, in addition to the £40 card reader.

Sarah Harvey, Square U.K. country manager, said in the release:

Our simple hardware, transparent pricing and our suite of business tools make it easy and cost-effective for you to accept cards and manage your payments, and for your customers to pay with their card. We’re excited to be here in the UK and can’t wait to help businesses get started with Square.

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