PYMNTS Player Of The Week: Square

Name: Square
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Founded: 2009
Employees: 600
Market Capitalization: N/A

Key Stats:
1. 1,000 Staples stores now sell Square Stands
2. $1 Billion in sales expected annually by 2014
3. $20 billion total annual payment volume processed by Square

Square Rides Untapped POS Potential To Big IPO Interest
Square fanned the flames for a big week in IPO news with the November 6 announcement that it had met with both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to discuss a potential 2014 IPO. Though, sources caution that the company’s market entrance is far from certain, the mere suggestion of a Square stock market arrival was enough to garner the mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) specialist mass exposure from major media outlets.

The furor is no doubt due to the explosive growth of the mPOS sector and Square’s position as a leader in this emerging market. Despite the interest from news sources, however, Square’s success as a public company has been called into question by commentators.

Chris Skinner, on the Financial Services Club Blog, went so far as to question Square’s ability to achieve longevity, especially in light of new technology that is threatening to remove interaction at the point of sale in a post entitled “Does anyone care about Square?” The company hasn’t exactly helped matters, as co-founder and CEO of Square Jack Dorsey has stated previously that the company is still chasing profitability, potentially giving investors reason for concern.

All possibilities aside, the company is providing evidence that it can evolve beyond its origins in mPOS to gain traction with large retailers. Given that mPOS is only just now being utilized by major retailers, the case can be made that Square’s full power as a payments player may not yet be realized, and importantly for investors, that the real profit for Square may be yet to come.

New Partnerships And Hirings
Supporting its case for an IPO, Square demonstrated its ability to form partnerships to help it as it seeks to diversify its offerings, enlisting Staples as the latest carrier of its iPad POS system on November 4. The move makes Square Stands available for purchase at more than 1,000 Staples locations in the U.S.

In its official blog, Square touted the move as a way to give POS customers a way to test out the company’s hardware in advance, a rarity in the industry. Further, Square demonstrated a willingness to bring new talent to its team with the appointment of David Viniar to its board of directors.

Quote of the Week: “Jack [Dorsey] is very much into how can you take something and simplify it down to its essence. This is a very Jack and a very Square idea,” Robert Andersen, Square’s creative director, said in an interview with The Verge.

To view last week’s PYMNTS Player of the Week, click here.



B2B APIs aren’t just for large enterprises anymore — middle-market firms and SMBs now realize their potential for enabling low-cost access to real-time payments and account data. But those capabilities are only the tip of the API iceberg, says HSBC global head of liquidity and cash management Diane Reyes. In this month’s B2B API Tracker, Reyes explains how the next wave of banking APIs could fight payments fraud and proactively alert middle-market treasurers to investment opportunities.

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