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Square acquires digital design agency

01 October 2012  |  4872 views  |  1 Fingers on smartphone keypad

Swipe-to-mobile outfit Square has acquired New York-based Web design agency 80/20.

The surprise move provides Square with a base in NY and a company that specialises in designing elegant user interfaces for Web and mobile apps.

Square, which closed a $200 million funding round last month, has seen huge growth over the past year, with its workforce growing from 150 to 400 and annualised payments processed up from around $1 billion to over $8 billion.

The 80/20 acquisition demonstrates the value placed on the consumer interface as a new breed of tech firms look to emulate the success of Apple in building simple, easy-to-use products that consumers find intuitive and a pleasure to interact with.

The 80/20 team consists of 12 designers and was co-founded by former Apple and Adobe staff. Previous commissions include work for Sony, Warner Bros, Vodafone and Motorola.

Comments: (1)

Brett King
Brett King - Moven - New York | 01 October, 2012, 18:15

Traditionally we'd emphasize the value of physical stores as the ability to touch and feel a product, or in the case of banking to get advice. The new differentiation is 'see and feel' a connection with brand - this is why Square is focusing on building customer experience above anything else, and why they've been so successful to-date.

Compare that with banks who have zero creative capability in-house in most cases, and rarely test user experience until the product has been designed, paper application form/branch process and all. 

This is going to be the new differentiator for FIs - service experience evidenced through great journeys and creative. Not through process, location or product.

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