Square CEO Jack Dorsey has issued new statements suggesting that the mobile payments giant may seek to add bitcoin to its Register product.
Noting that Square offers a terminal product that can accept a variety of payment methods, including Apple Pay, Dorsey told the media outlet:
“We’re building a register so that sellers can accept a credit card, so they can accept cash, so they can accept a cheque, so they can accept bitcoin and so they can accept any form of payment that comes across the counter including future ones and burgeoning ones like Apple Pay.”
Though the full meaning of Dorsey’s statements is unclear, the integration would mark the second time to date that Square has moved to embrace bitcoin as a payment method. This March, the company added a ‘Pay with Bitcoin‘ option to Square Market, its online merchant marketplace.
In comments to CoinDesk, Square was similarly opaque about its chief executive’s message.
“I’ll just use this as an opportunity to reiterate our belief that Square sellers should never have to miss out on a sale; they should be able to accept any form of payment,” a spokesperson said.
Notably, Square recently closed a $100m funding round, and currently offers its Register service to merchants in the US, Canada and Japan.
Square Register evolves
The statements are notable as Square’s Register product currently accepts all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, charging 2.75% per swipe for its processing service.
As such, the integration of bitcoin would mark a departure from what has to date been the company’s core value propositions, its mobile credit card reader.
However, the potential move could also be seen as part of Square’s overall evolution away from credit cards to become more inclusive in its payment methods through the addition of cash and cheques.
In addition to payment acceptance, its Register product also allows merchants to send digital receipts, accept orders online and manage analytics.
The addition would also be a potential boon for bitcoin, which could gain exposure to Square’s dedicated user base. Founded in 2009, Square has seen prolific growth in the US, signing up nearly 40,000 retailers for its platform as of the end of 2012.
Square has been particularly adept at gaining the support of small merchants, many of whom turn to the company to avoid more costly, traditional point-of-sale (POS) installations.
While positive for bitcoin in terms of exposure, critics of Square’s handling of bitcoin integration have emerged. For example, merchants who accept bitcoin via Square market continue to pay a 2.75% transaction fee.
Hat tip to BankInnovation.net
Images via Square; Flickr