Square handling $2 bln a year in credit card transactions


Upstart credit card processing company Square—which has disrupted the credit card payments industry by giving away credit card readers that pop into smartphones—says it is now processing the equivalent of $2 billion a year in credit card transactions from customers, and now has a customer base of some 8.2 million merchants, most of whom had never previously accepted credit cards. Square’s COO Keith Rabois describes that as equal to about 10 percent of the customer base covered by Visa and MasterCard—and now the company is removing transaction limits for new customers, making it easier for business to get on board.

That rate of adoption means Square is pulling in $55 million in transaction fees alone, on an annualized basis. The company recently raised $100 million in new financing.

Since launching last year, Square has limited payment processing for new customers to $1,000—transactions over that amount could be held up for as long as a month unless the company went through additional verification processes. Now, new customers will be able to receive all their funds the next business day; Square says they’ve now been operating long enough that they can catch anomalous and fraudulent activity, and doesn’t need a 30-day hold on new accounts.

Although Square how has major backing from Visa and other investors, the startup has proven very disruptive in the mobile payments industry. Square gives away credit card readers that pop into audio jacks of smartphones and other devices, enabling customers to handle point-of-sale credit card transactions with just a phone and an Internet connection. Square takes 2.75 percent of each swipe, and handles Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Although credit card industry initially attacked the Square reader for being insecure and little more than a tool for card-skimmers—and recent activity at the Black Hat security conference exploited the Square reader’s current lack of hardware authentication, amongst other things—Square’s offering has proven popular with many businesses—particularly small businesses and individual merchants for whom the cost and overhead of a traditional merchant account and traditional secured card reader were too burdensome. Square says readers with hardware encryption are coming later this year.


Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.

Apple iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Mini 4: What’s new in Apple’s long-awaited refresh?

The long-awaited refresh of the iPad Mini is finally here, but just how big an upgrade does the iPad Mini 5 represent? We compare it to the outgoing iPad Mini 4 in various categories to delve into the differences and pick a winner.

Genius Pack Supercharged will power up your phone and tablet simultaneously

With enough juice to power a smartphone up to four times and dual USB charges, the Genius Pack Supercharged carry-on bag can charge two devices simultaneously. The bag also uses eight 360-degree wheels and has a tough exterior shell.
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.

Does this video show off the Huawei P30 Pro's impressive camera suite?

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Spring is here, and Apple’s beautiful new Watch bands will help you celebrate

Apple knows that seasons matter in the fashion world, and has refreshed its most popular Apple Watch bands to celebrate the arrival of spring. See them all, including our new favorite teal versions, here.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.