EE, which is part of BT Group, is partnering with Square to help expand the availability of contactless payments for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.K., according to a press release.
Through the partnership, EE customers will have access to a Square Reader for free, with fee-free processing on the first 1,000 pounds (about $1,300) of purchases, whether online, in person or over the phone, the release stated.
Recent research shows over half of U.K. SMBs are adapting to new digital or contactless payment methods to avoid spreading the coronavirus during the pandemic, according to the release. Forty-four percent of U.K. SMBs have been selling more products online, while 26 percent have begun using contactless payments.
According to Square’s research, fewer than one in four payments is made in cash these days, making that figure roughly half of what it was before the pandemic, the release stated.
EE customers will get other benefits, too, according to the release. They’ll have access to free website creation, they can take orders over the phone and get faster invoice payments, and they can get paid the next business day to optimize cash flow.
In addition, they’ll be able to pay only when they process payments, which includes a 1.75 percent fee for in-person transactions, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and 2.5 percent for keyed-in and online transactions, according to the release.
Pankaj Bengani, global partnerships lead at Square, said in the release that businesses need “accessible and affordable tools,” particularly during the pandemic.
“Partnering with EE means we can help more [SMBs] accept card payments with ease and simplicity,” Bengani said in the release. “It’s essential businesses are equipped to sell wherever their customers are, and with Square, EE customers will be able to do this in-person and online.”
Square has been innovating during the pandemic, also recently releasing a QR code-based ordering functionality for restaurants, PYMNTS reported. The feature will let businesses implement mobile-centric payments, which allow them to avoid physical contact as diners will scan QR codes from their phones to pay. It is available so far in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.