Square raids PayPal for retail expertise as POS terminal business builds

Square raids PayPal for retail expertise as POS terminal business builds

Mobile POS outfit Square has raided rival PayPal to appoint a new head of retail partnerships as the company reports fast growth in the tablet point-of-sale terminal market.

As Square's vice president of partnerships, new hire Alex Petrov will be charged with driving strategic business development and customer acquisition. Petrov comes to Square from PayPal where he was responsible for merchant marketing and launching PayPal into an offline retail environment.

Petrov has a working knowledge of the merchant account market from a previous stint as VP of consumer brands at Safeway, where he led the marketing and growth of the supermarket chain's private brands portfolio, launching over 1000 new products.

While Square usage continues to grow on smartphones, it is accelerating at a faster rate on iPads, where customers are using Square as a full point-of-sale system. Square says iPad customers now represent nearly 50% of total payments processed.

The tablet-as-terminal business poses a growing threat to traditional eftpos vendors.

New research from analyst house Javelin estimates that mobile POS could expand the current payment card acceptance by as much as 20 million firms if eligible firms started accepting payments. This impact could account for up to $1.1 trillion in annual new‐card payments.

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