Square Inc, the payments company led by Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, has just 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 U.K. 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 U.K.’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 Ltd 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 U.K. 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 focused 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 U.K.’s SumUp, which is backed by Groupon Inc, and Sweden’s iZettle. The United States’ PayPal Holdings 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.
Another US credit card processing system called Stripe also provides simple and low cost credit card processing for e-commerce and webbased applications. These two firms will give the UK incumbrents a run for thir money.
Both require websites to support full SSL security and work with WordPress and WooCommerce.
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