US payments company, Square launches in Australia
(8 March 2016 – Australia) US based payments company Square has launched its mobile payment device in Australia, however it is missing the key contactless payments function.
Square country manager Ben Pfisterer blames size and cost on the exclusion, highlighting that a PIN won't be needed for purchases below $35.
"A lot of hard work has gone into it to create an alternative solution for small business; we think there is a huge gap in the market in Australia," Pfisterer said.
Australia has been a long-rumoured expansion region for the company, which is led by Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, due to the country’s high usage of smartphones.
The delay in Square entering this market has allowed several competitors to get in first, including PayPal and locally owned Mint Payments, which has just announced its expansion into south-east Asia, eWay, Ingogo and Tappr.
In Australia, Square will cost A$19 in addition to a 1.9 percent fee per transaction including all merchant service fees and Square's own cut.
Pfisterer said the "sweet spot" market for the device is "nano and micro businesses". He added that mid-sized businesses such as restaurants would find it useful, or for "queue busting".
Square will seek to steal market share from "anyone in the card payments space", but cash is its biggest rival because many of its customers don't have any other option.
"We are creating a whole new market," Pfisterer added.