Square Readies a New British Invasion
Square’s value in the mobile payments field is hard to dispute; it’s allowed a wide variety of small businesses to start taking payment cards, and in some cases, other mobile payment mechanisms as well.
Now, this familiar platform is expanding its capability to deliver new value, though it’s set to do so in one of the most crowded markets around: Europe.
Once the European expansion starts up in earnest, it’s going to make its first stop in the UK, which is already one of the biggest names in mobile payments around.
Yet Jack Dorsey—Square’s CEO—notes that the UK market is a good match for Square’s interest in the field, noting that the country is already used to mobile payment systems, so Square will only have to make the case that it’s better than what’s already in play.
Dorsey further noted “There’s over five million small businesses and only around half accept credit cards today so we are really excited about the opportunity and bringing more and more businesses to electronic payments.” Dorsey also cited the “spirit of entrepreneurship” in the country, which made it a little more receptive to Square’s possibilities.
Given that better than 99 percent of businesses in the UK are considered small and medium-sized businesses, that’s a whole lot of possible targets for Square to hit.
Granted, Square has a difficult path ahead of it. There are plenty of mobile payments options already in-country, so trying to convince users that this particular system will be better than the others might be a tall order. However, Square has a real advantage here in that it’s offering a mobile payments system that’s particularly useful for credit cards.
A system where there aren’t many credit cards in place already basically begs for a system that makes credit cards easy to take—like Square commonly does—and that could be just the leverage that Square needs to break into a fairly packed market.
Square does have enough of a competitive advantage to keep itself distinct, even in a field like the UK. Only time will tell if it will give Square sufficient room to operate, but the recipe appears sound at this stage, and it’s likely that Square will make a worthwhile showing in the end.