Partnerships / Acquisitions

Square's Unlikely Alliances

As the field is starting to contract, firms that were once viewable as competitors are now collaborating.

Case in point, Square's latest announcement that it will be working with Vend and TouchBistro. Going forward, both firms will offer their restaurant and retail clients access to Square's platform. That includes access to the payments infrastructure, hardware and financial services (the lending program offering through Square Capital, for example).

"Today's partnership with TouchBistro is a natural fit for our hospitality companies and means that more sellers will have access to a greater range of software solutions, payments and financial services to reinvest in their business," said Francoise Brougher, business lead at Square, in a press release.

It was not so long ago that the partnerships would have seemed a less natural fit for Square, as Square offered register and POS solutions that competed with Vend's and TouchBistro's respective offerings. But as Square has evolved the platform into more of an individual service model and opened its API in March, hybridized solutions that tie in with Square have become more common in the market.

"This partnership has been many years in the making. We are excited to finally bring Square's elegant, best-in-class hardware and processing to our customers," said Alex Barrotti, CEO and founder of TouchBistro. "Together, TouchBistro and Square deliver a great combination for hospitality venues of any size."

While the hardware access and business solutions are both noted parts of the deal, access to Square Capital seems to be the highlight of opportunity for Square in the partnership. Square Capital logged 123 percent growth year over year in terms of loans extended. Square also needs to keep growing its payments volume, which was up 42 percent year over year as of the firm's last earnings release. Vend and TouchBistro could potentially push that figure up significantly by using Square on other POS platforms.

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