Squareis a quick and easy credit card reader, available with Spanish-language localization, making it invaluable for Hispanic businesses
Square is quickly becoming the go-to credit card-processing platform for small and medium-sized businesses. And now, with the addition of Spanish-language support, its opening itself up to many more markets, including Hispanic businesses, benefitting both itself and its customers.
Talk to Ricardo Reyes, the 39-year-old VP of Communications and Brand Marketing and head of the team that just launched Square en Español, and you get three distinct feelings:
- Square is sincere: It wants to help small businesses grow.
- This is kharmic: Reyes own father was a Nicaraguan entrepreneur who started, among other businesses, a travel agency and a gas station. Now his son helps small business prosper by helping them accept credit cards.
- Square is serious about doing things well.
Take something as simple as a Spanish translation. I lost count of how many times Reyes mentioned the word localize. meaning not only translating the language itself, but also using idiomatic expressions and making sure that the use of Spanish fits the target.
Often, when someone approaches a Hispanic small-business owner with a product in Spanish, hes met with a certain amount of distrust because there have been many instances where the person speaks really bad Spanish, the translations have been bad and the efforts superficial. We wanted to do things right, Reyes explains.
Founded in 2009, Square (originally named Squirrel) is arguably the most disruptive technology ever to enter the small-business universe.
Prior to Square, small businesses had to endure a veritable obstacle course to accept credit cardsor risk losing sales. Credit-card companies charged small businesses as much as 4% in processing fees. Moreover, the entire industry was convoluted, with credit cards, credit processors, terminal manufacturers, processing fees, gateway fees, terminal rentals, and a host of other and related charges.
The way small businesses are treated is almost insulting, says Reyes.
Its not surprising that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported that, of the 30 million businesses in the U.S. with under $100,000 in revenue, only 6 million accept credit cards.
Enter Jim McKelvey, a computer science engineer turned glassblower and now chairman of Square. After reportedly losing a $1,000 sale because he didnt accept credit cards, the story goes that he called his friend, Jack Dorsey, one of the creators of Twitter, and got Square started.
Everyone at Square has a connection to small businesses, Ricardo remarks.
Square uses a low-cost reader (its given away for free) that connects directly into a phone or tablet and works in conjunction with simple software to accept credit cards on the spot. Square charges a flat 2.75% with no cumbersome structures, processors, terminal rentals or middlemen. With Square, anyone food-truck owners, painters, street vendors and cab driverscan accept credit cards.
Moreover, while traditional credit card and merchant processors deposit the money on a monthly basis, Squarewith a few exceptionsdeposits the money in the merchants account in one to two days.
Additionally, Squares design has what some people describe as Apple-esque. The simple square reader fits neatly into the headphone jack of the phone. The softwarefree to downloadis simple to use. Registration is fast and easy and links a Square account to a bank account for direct payment.