Square Plants Roots in London

by Raymond Pucci 0

Perhaps the fears surrounding Brexit have been greatly exaggerated by some, but count mobile payments pioneer, Square, as a company looking to expand its global footprint via Britain. As the following article relates, Square is setting up a London headquarters as a base for its European operations.

Square, the mobile payments company run by Twitter TWTR 1.96% CEO Jack Dorsey, has incorporated a business called Squareup Europe in Britain, registration documents show, lining itself up for what could be its first foray into Europe. Square SQ 2.46% , which is present in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia, facilitates payments between customers and businesses with a credit card reader that turns any mobile phone into a payment terminal. Square, founded in 2009 and which went public in November last year, incorporated Squareup Europe in early June at an address in central London, documents from Britain’s Companies House registry showed.

While Square has largely focused on the U.S. market, its success has encouraged a host of other new entrants around the world hoping to capture international markets. Europe has some established players such as Sweden’s iZettle and Groupon-backed SumUp in London. Research and Markets has forecast the global mobile card reader market will grow at an average annual rate of almost 70% up to 2020. Squareup Europe has permission to provide payment services such as transactions with or without credit lines in Britain, according to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

It also has a “passport” which allows it to provide similar services in the European Economic Area (EEA)—European Union member states plus three other countries including Norway—although the future of this arrangement for British-based firms is unclear following the country’s vote to leave the EU.

Square has proven to be a resounding success among the small business community, especially startup entrepreneurs who would never get off the ground without a simple and cost effective way to accept card payments. Nobody knows how the post-Brexit aftermath will unfold. Chances are that it will not happen very quickly, and that global financial center London will continue as an attractive business location. In any case, Europe’s small businesses will welcome a new, tech savvy payments provider.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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