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Summary:

Square is launching in Canada Wednesday, its first international market. Merchants in Canada will be able to take credit card payments through their iPhone, iPad or Android device.

Square
photo: Square

Square, which has been talking up its international plans, took its first concrete step with the launch of its payment service in Canada Wednesday. Canadian merchants will now be able to take payments through an iPhone, iPad or Android device and access Square’s flat 2.75 transaction fee.

The expansion begins a larger rollout that will likely bring Square to Europe and Asia and other markets where credit cards are in use. The Canadian launch appears to be aimed at helping merchants accept credit cards; there’s no mention of Square Wallet, Square’s mobile payment application that lets users pay by giving their name at a business.

Square is picking up steam following a $200 million funding round and a big deal with Starbucks, which will start taking Square Wallet payments at its 7,000 locations next month. It now has 2 million merchants and individuals taking Square payments and it’s doing $8 billion of processing on an annualized basis. That number should shoot up with the Starbucks partnership since Starbucks will be using Square for processing.

Square faces more challenges and opportunities as it goes international. It will take time to establish partnerships in each country it does business. And expansion also means more competition. PayPal has launched PayPal Here, its small business payment tool, in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.  IZettle, sometimes referred to as the Square of Europe, just expanded its latest $31.4 million funding round with participation from American Express.

Square’s international efforts are led by Alyssa Cutright, PayPal’s former VP of products for North America who was lured away earlier this year. Merchants north of the border can hit up Square’s new Canadian website to order a free dongle and get started.

  1. There are other providers as well in Canada that are home-grown Canadian companies. This article doesn’t talk about them. Both PayFirma and Kudos have been around for a while, and Kudos has a very similar pricing model.

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  2. Good luck to Square, I am not sure if Canadians will get easily attracted to Square’s super high rates! They deserve more options, wish mpowa (www.mpowa.com) will go there. I heard mpowa will soon migrate from swipe reader to chip & pin devices. The Chip & Pin device is due to be launched by the end of the year. Anyhow… Good luck Square!_

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    1. True. I have been using mPowa here in the UK and I would say that Square’s technology is their drawback. mPowa exceeds them in this aspect.

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