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Square Expands Offline Payments to Entire Hardware Lineup

Square has expanded the availability of offline payments to every hardware device, in every country.

The company has offered this no-connection-required solution for 10 years on some of its devices, expanding it to a growing number of units over that time, and now offers it across the entire Square hardware lineup, Square said in a Tuesday (April 23) press release.

With the latest expansion, nearly 90% of hardware sellers can take offline payments, according to the release.

“Whether in a remote location or facing a technology disruption, now nearly every Square seller can continue to operate business-as-usual and keep sales flowing,” the company said in the release.

Offline payments allows sellers to continue conducting business in the event of a Square service disruption, a transaction outside of a mobile coverage area, a disruption with an internet provider, a card network outage or technical issues on the user’s side, according to the release.

The offline payments function can be activated at any time in the seller’s Square settings or when their Square point-of-sale (POS) detects a connectivity issue, the release said. Once it’s activated, the seller has 24 hours to reconnect to the internet to upload and process the payments.

While the seller will be notified when they’re taking offline payments, the customer will generally be unaware of the change and will be able to complete their purchase experience in the usual fashion, per the release.

“Our recent investments in offline payments are part of our commitment to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement,” Cyndy Lobb, head of trust platform at Square, said in the release. “No technology company can guarantee 100% uptime — though we will always strive for it.

“What is in our control is how we communicate with and prioritize the needs of our sellers during an incident to minimize impact and preserve trust,” Lobb added.

This solution comes about seven months after Square suffered an outage that impacted merchants across the United States and outside the country for about 19 hours, leaving them unable to access accounts or process payments.

Square and PayPal are the most popular payment processors among Main Street small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to “Main Street Health Q3 2023: Leading Payment Processors Satisfy SMBs, but Less Popular Providers Are Vulnerable,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Enigma collaboration.