In a bid to drive revenue and appeal to larger, more complex businesses, the software, hardware and payments platform Square has introduced a new monthly subscription plan for an invoicing service that includes more advanced features that are unavailable in its free product.
The global unveiling of Square’s $20 per month “Invoices Plus” plan comes just six weeks after it leapt into the fast-growing buy now, pay later (BNPL) space with its $29 billion acquisition of Afterpay. While Square’s original mobile credit card readers made it an instant hit with small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and other remote entrepreneurs, its recent expansion plans into finance and B2B bookkeeping services are clearly aimed at reaching a larger clientele.
The B2B Opportunity
In its Wednesday (Sept. 15) announcement, Square said the new initiative will offer businesses a time saving, integrated solution that will streamline complex operations by personalizing and automating the invoicing process.
“Square Invoices Plus enables merchants to automate their invoicing so that they can get valuable time back, while bringing a more professional look to their payment processes,” said Saumil Mehta, general manager of Square’s Point of Sale and Customers, in the announcement.
By deepening their relationship with Square through the addition of the invoicing suite, the company said in the announcement that businesses will be able to “save more time” and “get paid faster” as a result of improved organization and cash flow.
Craving Cash Flow
Regardless of the financial solution provider, Square’s move to deepen its business service offerings now appears well-timed. It is a well-established fact that, with wait times of two months to four months between when invoices are sent out and when they actually get paid, businesses face a serious burden due to the sluggish flow of funds.
According to PYMNTS’ data, over the past year, cash flow problems saw 75% of SMBs having to resort to extreme measures such as not paying rent or deferring payments to their own suppliers and vendors in order to make ends meet.
While the benefits of better billing are substantial, the fixes that allow them are not always that complicated. For example, by allowing sellers to create, save and reuse invoice templates, Square said in the announcement that businesses will be able to speed up billing and eliminate the need to start from scratch each month. The templates can also be used to create invoices for pre-selected items, repeat services and payment settings that can be used for similar jobs or sales.
In addition, the ability for business billers to easily add notes or other recurring comments to their invoices is another time saver. Square said these “custom fields” in Invoices Plus allow merchants the ability to communicate additional details to customers, such as terms of service, cancellation and return policies or any other personalized message or greeting, according to the announcement.
Additional Features in Coming Months
By the looks of it, Square has every intention of growing its presences in the B2B accounts receivable/accounts payable (AR/AP) segment, as it said it said additional features will be added in the coming months.
In Square’s second quarter 2021 shareholder letter, the company said software products like Invoices amplify the value of its ecosystem.
“Software and integrated payments have been the fastest-growing products in the Seller ecosystem, delivering average annual gross profit growth of nearly 50% over the past four years, and have improved seller retention,” the letter said.