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Jack Dorsey Rings in Square’s Debut in the U.K.

Mar 28, 2017

Square is bringing its mobile payments infrastructure across the pond with its debut in the U.K. on Tuesday.

CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey took part in the announcement event in central London alongside invited owners from local small businesses such as cafes and florists, some of the core groups of merchants that propelled Square's business since launching in 2009.

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Britain marks the fifth country where Square is available, following the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

Square touted its potential in the U.K. by citing Barclaycard research that the average adult in Britain carries less than £25 (approximately $31) in cash, while 70% of U.K. shoppers now prefer to pay by credit card.

The problem with those numbers—but the opportunity for Square—is that half of the 5.4 million small businesses in Britain don't take credit cards, according to The U.K. Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.

Square gained popularity with small business owners, merchants, and shoppers alike with the proliferation of its now-iconic white dongle of a credit card reader that can simply plug into a smartphone or tablet to process payments.

But Square's recent string of successful quarters have pointed to an uptick in payment processing, but the San Francisco-based company continues to build upon its signature hardware payment method with many more services for merchants.

Last year, for example, Square pushed further into the online lending business. Square has also made moves to tie itself closer to vendors through acquisitions, such as food delivery service Caviar. Earlier this month, Caviar also expanded its offerings by adding a pickup service, but payments are still processed digitally.

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