Jack Dorsey, taking time out from dealing with struggling Twitter, has finally brought mobile payment service Square to the UK.
The UK is the fifth market that Square has launched in after the US (obviously), Canada, Japan and Australia since Dorsey launched the payments service back in 2009.
Dorsey, who heads up both Square and Twitter, is looking to the UK's 5.4 million small businesses that don't yet accept card payments - typically small traders like plumbers, electricians and the like - noting that the average UK adult now carries less than £25 in cash at any one time, and that 70 per cent of UK shoppers prefer to pay by card.
"We founded Square to empower small businesses with tools to accept all forms of payment and to make a sale anytime, anywhere," said Dorsey. "We look forward to working alongside the millions of entrepreneurs and thriving small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, especially those who do not yet take card payments."
To get started with Square, businesses will need to purchase a Square Reader device for £39 from the Square Shop. This then needs to hooked up to a phone or tablet via Bluetooth, and Square's free Point of Sale app download.
Square charges a fee of 1.75 per cent for in-person payments, and 2.5 per cent for all other transactions, such as online or by phone.
A handful of small merchants in London have been trialling Square in the run-up to the launch, including the Piano Bar in Soho and a florist in South London.
George Hudson, owner of Piano Bar Soho, said: "Square has been a perfect fit for my business, allowing me to easily take card payments both at the table and at the door.
"It's intuitive for our staff to use with no training necessary, and the real-time sales data helps me keep track of how the business is doing, even when I'm in a remote location. I have always valued innovation and design in business, and I appreciate Square's focus on those important elements as well."
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