Square is expanding in Europe, where SMEs dominate
The Square hardware and payment platform, founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is accelerating its European expansion, having launched operations in Ireland and France earlier this year. The company recently added a third country to its eurozone list, allowing Spanish companies to participate in beta testing of its early access program this month.
The Limited Space Program, which provides exclusive access to omnichannel tools used by millions of businesses around the world, is available to businesses wishing to test Square’s services before they become generally available.
Read more: Square seeks companies based in Spain for beta testing of omnichannel tools
According to the announcement, merchants who sign up for the program can gain access to free Square hardware, without the constraints of long-term contracts or start-up fees.
See also: Square sellers can accept payments with Cash App Pay
Speaking on the ad, Jason lalor, Square’s executive director for Europe, said the program targets businesses of all sizes that can grow using the company’s “omnichannel hardware and software ecosystem”.
Services provided by the Silicon Valley-based company include point-of-sale software and hardware to sell seamlessly in-store and online, as well as tools for building an online store.
The United Kingdom as a European launching pad
Like other North American companies looking to expand in Europe, Square chose to launch from the UK and started operations in the country in 2017.
“The UK is arguably the global hub for FinTech,” said Clearco Head of United Kingdom Sarah clark in an interview with Karen Webster of PYMNTS this month. “There are great talents here, and there is a strong regulatory framework. Clark added that in his opinion, London is just behind China when it comes to advanced e-commerce markets around the world.
Credit firm Clearco recently opted to open an office in London when it first left its North American headquarters, while accounting workflow software company FloQast made a similar move by launching operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
SMEs dominate in UK / Europe
Although Square’s program is accessible to businesses of all sizes, the majority of the firm’s European clientele will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which represent 99% of businesses in Europe, according to data from the European Commission.
In the UK, SMEs accounted for 99.3% of total activity at the start of 2020 and accounted for three-fifths of employment in the private sector, according to the UK National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses.
And given the predominance of these small and medium-sized enterprises in the region, governments routinely ensure that payment-related measures are implemented to support SMEs, especially in times of crisis. According to a recent European Commission report, the three European countries where Square operates have supported SMEs with various business measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The French government has allowed SMEs to reduce the working hours of their employees during the pandemic and has increased the proportion of monthly wages of government-subsidized workers from 70% to 100% to € 6,927.
In August 2020, Ireland launched a loan guarantee program mobilizing € 2 billion for SMEs and providing financial intermediaries with an 80% loan guarantee on loans between € 10,000 and € 1 million taken out. by companies with less than 500 employees. And from March 2020, SMEs and self-employed workers in Spain with a turnover of less than 6 million euros are allowed to defer their tax payments by six months for payments below 30,000 €.