10 February 2016

Square gets defensive about 'totally bogus' myths

15 August 2014  |  7511 views  |  0 wrong way

With Amazon threatening to eat its lunch and rumours swirling about a lack of strategy and profits, Square has gone on the defensive with a blog post explaining why "myths" about Jack Dorsey's baby are "totally bogus".

This week Amazon made its widely anticipated move into the crowded mPOS market, launching its dongle and app-based contender with an aggressive pricing strategy that undercuts Square.

Retailers that sign up by the end of October will pay just 1.75% per swipe until the end of 2015, after which the price goes up to 2.5% - still less than the 2.75% charged by Square.

At number one in its 10 "myths", Square insists that "nope" it is not more expensive, although it does not say what it is not more expensive than.

The firm also hits back at claims that it is struggling. In April the WSJ reported that Square had had some informal talks with potential bidders for the business.

A sale was on the cards because, despite revenues of $550 million, Square posted a loss of around $100 million in 2013 and the firm had already burned through more than half of the $340 million it had raised since 2009 as it struggled with the thin margins on the 2.75% fees it charges merchants, said the Journal.

But, insists Square: "We're well-capitalized and putting our money to good use: investing in people and new products. Reports that we tried to sell the company, or of a delayed IPO? False. We're here for the long-term."

The other "myths" the post tries to bust include that Square is not secure, has no customer service, is unreliable and only works with Apple.

The post comes as Square faces a change in its public perception. Once the darling of the fintech world thanks to its massive funding rounds, deals with retail giants such as Starbucks and glamorous founder Dorsey, the firm has recently been met with growing scepticism.

A recent Fast Company profile depicted a firm in a "frenzy", "scrambling" to build up a profitable business.

On Twitter - Dorsey's other baby - reaction to the "myths" blog post has been largely negative. Cristina Cordova from another payments startup, Stripe, wondered:

While Verge reporter Casey Newton found an apt analogy:


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