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Square UK Teams Up With Vend, TouchBistro

The U.K. is learning that it’s hip to be Square.

California-based Square was founded in 2009 to enable small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to accept credit and debit card payments. It launched in the U.K. in March 2017 and, in the ensuing 12 weeks, has teamed up with 16 partners there. Today, June 28, it adds Vend and TouchBistro to that list.

Vend is used primarily in inventory-based retail, and TouchBistro at restaurants. These two new point-of-sale (POS) integrations will enable Vend and TouchBistro customers to process payments via Square and vice versa, unlocking more options and greater flexibility for customers using any of these products, including  reporting and analytics, next-day settlement, and chargeback protection as well as a variety of business services that help sellers manage inventory, locations, and employees; engage customers; and grow sales.

Sarah Harvey, who leads Square in the U.K., told Karen Webster in an interview before the launch that the goal of Square’s first foray outside the U.S. is to tap into the 2.2 million U.K. small businesses that can’t accept card payments.

“This is very similar to how we first operated in the United States,” Harvey said. “Our real focus in the U.K. is the 2.2 million potential merchants who currently only accept cash. There’s plenty of white space for us to go after.”

Harvey told Webster said that Square’s MO for adding partnerships with specific vertical players was to provide them with the opportunity to access POS systems that meet the needs of that particular vertical, in this case, restaurants (TouchBistro) or retail (Vend).

“Larger sellers using Square – like full-service restaurants and retailers – often have specialist requirements but still want to integrate with Square’s easy-to-use payments technology and beautifully designed hardware,” Harvey said.

Harvey said that both Vend and TouchBistro now have the ability to process payments through Square and leverage other capabilities that the Square platform offers.

For instance, if a coffee shop that is using Square – or any partner system – decided that it wanted to offer its beans for sale online, it could leverage Square’s eCommerce capabilities. If the coffee shop  later wanted to introduce  catering, it could do so using its mPOS devices. The advantage to merchants is that they would never have to  switch payment providers and be able to leverage a single dashboard through which to monitor all of those sales.

Marc Cooper, country manager for EMEA at Vend, said, “This integration allows our advanced and multi-location retailers to use both Vend and Square seamlessly, giving them more choice in how they run and grow their business, and helping them create a beautiful customer experience.”

Alex Barrotti, CEO and founder of TouchBistro, said, “The integration with Square UK is part of our commitment to restaurant success and can have tremendous impact on the bottom line of TouchBistro users of all sizes, from small cafes to large, full-service restaurants. With the Square Reader, TouchBistro UK users can improve efficiency and the customer experience by accepting payments at the bar, counter or table.”

Harvey said that both Vend and TouchBistro are “great examples” of point-of-sale solutions that serve specific industries well. Integrating with Square means that their customers can now use Square to accept chip, PIN and contactless payments and receive their money as soon as the next business day.

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