Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's Square launches in UK

Payments company appeals to 2.5m small businesses with promise of easy and quick card transactions

Jack Dorsey
(Image credit: Kimberley White/ Getty)

Jack Dorsey may be having a hard time at Twitter, the business with which he is most associated, but his other company, Square, appears to be going from strength to strength.

Today sees the UK launch of his card payments firm after a successful few years in the US and Japan.

Square, which focusses on small businesses, offers a low-cost, simple service via a smartphone or tablet. For £39, traders can buy a card reader that will allow them to take contactless or chip-and-pin payments in person for a fee of around 1.75 per cent.

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Crucially, Square promises to transfer funds into businesses' accounts the following morning, which The Guardian says will "will appeal to smaller firms that lack the liquidity to wait months to receive their revenue".

ITV adds that its point-of-sale software also "allows trader to gather sales data as well as digital receipts and invoices with an app".Square believes its simplicity and low-cost will appeal to the 2.5 million small businesses that do not currently accept card payments due to the complexity of the existing offerings.

It is also betting its price structure will give it the edge over Swedish rival iZettle, which charges £29 for its reader but then an extra 2.75 per cent for transactions under a certain threshold.

Dorsey said: "When we went to Japan, we also faced a market that already had competitors and we determined that we didn't need to be first, we just needed to be best."Best to us means fastest, simplest and most cohesive."

Card payments are increasingly important to businesses: City AM reports that cash makes up just 45 per cent of total retail sales at the moment, a figure expected to fall to 25 per cent by 2025.

Since it was founded in 2009, Square has amassed a market value of $6.5bn (£5.2bn), with shares currently at more than $17, close to their all-time high.

However, Dorsey's other company, Twitter, is not faring so well. Amid increasing concern over stagnant new user numbers and ongoing losses, shares are hovering near an all-time low of less than $15 - down 75% from their peak in January 2014.

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