Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Michael Essany.
Less than one month ago, some will recall, Square announced that it had reached a major milestone to cap off 2011. More than one million merchants across the United States now accept payment (via credit and debit cards) through Square’s hugely popular mobile payment app.
All told, it’s a remarkable feat when you consider that there are only eight million merchants in the United States today. By the start of 2012, Square was already an entrenched fixture in one out of every eight. And the platform’s reach is poised to grow even faster as the new year rolls along.
It’s Hip to Be Square
This week, Square announced two significant new retail deals with OfficeMax and the UPS Store (select locations apply for now).As a result of the freshly announced retail partnerships, Square is now sold at an astounding 10,000 retail locations. That’s up from 9,000 just last month.
According to Square pioneer and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square’s success and rapid growth closely mirror the attributes that make microblogging social network Twitter so popular.
“We haven’t defined a lot of how people are going to use them,” Dorsey recently said in reference to the versatility of uses that both Square and Twitter provide to their respective users. “We don’t want to make Square all about taxi cabs,” he says. “And we don’t want to make Twitter all about celebrities and politicians.”
GoPayment Goes Global
Square’s leading competitor in the mobile payments space, GoPayment, is also making expansionary waves this week.
On Tuesday, Intuit – the makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and other trusted business and financial management resources – announced that its GoPayment solution is going international.
Already a formidable player in mobile payments, GoPayment is similar to Square in that it allows businesses to easily process credit cards payments via smartphone or tablet computer.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Intuit revealed that it plans to take its free GoPayment mobile credit card app and card reader hardware global, with the first implementation in Canada.
“Canada’s mobile-savvy population coupled with Intuit’s 18 years of experience in Canada made the country a natural choice for Intuit’s first international expansion of GoPayment,” the company says.
To coincide with the new global initiative, Intuit reveals that it will soon begin shipping a free, newly-designed GoPayment Card Reader in both the United States and Canada. GoPayment for Canada and the new GoPayment card reader will each be available in early 2012.
“We’re taking two big steps forward today: announcing GoPayment in Canada, and releasing a new and improved card reader,” said Chris Hylen, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Payment Solutions division. “This is part of our strategy to offer GoPayment internationally and to innovate in ways that make it easier for our customers, in all markets, to never miss a sale.”