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Square wants to help regional Australian businesses accept digital payments

Posted: 2 April 2019 11:50 am
News

Portrait of female bakery owner standing in front of counter in shop Image: Getty ImagesPayments provider Square has announced partnerships with several community banks to target thousands of small businesses outside of our major cities.

It's likely you'll start seeing Square digital payment terminals in more and more small businesses across regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The payments provider has today announced partnerships with community banks including Unity Bank, Southern Cross Credit and the WAW Credit Union as part of its strategy to expand into regional towns outside of the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

These community banks will provide their small business clients access to Square card readers for use in their shopfronts to accept digital contactless payments. Square estimates that it will be able to reach around 100,000 retail customers across regional Australia through these partnerships, as well as through its partnership with Bank of Queensland which was announced last year.

The Square card reader is like a small, portable EFTPOS terminal that businesses like cafes can use to accept tap and go payments from customers, including contactless payments made by Apple Pay and Google Pay. It's also shaped like a square, which explains the name. The Square card reader costs $59, and Square takes a 1.9% transaction fee for all payments processed. As part of the partnerships with Unity Bank, Southern Cross Credit and the WAW Credit Union, businesses who opt for a Square card reader will receive fee-free card processing for the first $1,000 they process from sales as a welcome incentive.

Square is already seeing strong demand for its portable card readers in regional Australia. The payments company has seen a 42% year on year growth rate in regional Australian towns, compared to an annual growth rate of 33% in metro areas where there is more competition from merchant payment services such as Tyro EFTPOS terminals.

Square's Australia manager Ben Pfisterer said the partnership is a win-win situation for Square, the community banks and also the local small businesses. "It's a big win for small business owners in regional areas when their local banking partners are willing to collaborate on a global scale to give them greater access to some of the world's best technology solutions. While we have maintained a strong presence in metro areas, we're actually seeing the fastest growth across regional communities, particularly in Western Australia and South Australia, which dispels the myth that entrepreneurialism and business growth is confined to big cities."

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