After trialling the product for some time over here, Square, the US based payments provider startup founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has finally launched in the UK.
Square, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2015 at a valuation of around $6bn, provides independent traders with a means to take card payments using a reader- and it will retail over here in the UK at just £39.
It got us thinking about other payments apps that are valuable to startups and SMEs, and in that spirit, we present 6 of the best we could find!
It may be stating the obvious given that PayPal, founded by techpreneurs Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, amongst others, has become a household name, but PayPal does much more than simply provide freelancers and independent traders with a way to accept credit and debit card payments online.
Pay Pal offers personal or business accounts, and on the business side, credit lines, cash advances and business loans, as well as the ability to send and receive money internationally.
From an accountancy perspective PayPal allows you to create and send invoices, and export them into excel or other accountancy software; PayPal also integrates easily with WordPress and most kinds of ecommerce site, providing shopping cart functionality and easy checkout.
Recently, PayPal has begun to accept cryptocurrencies too.
So what’s all the fuss about? The Square reader permits customers to pay with debit or credit cards, including American Express, Visa and MasterCard, either using chip and pin, or via contactless.
The Square app can also provide receipts either digitally or printed, create invoices and recurring payments, provide real-time inventory management, customer feedback, sales and reporting analytics, and even refunds, tipping and discounts.
Square comes with multiple layers of encryption, and a back end dashboard which can act as a virtual business back office. Developer APIs also make Square a great choice for small businesses with superior technical development skills.
Square takes a 2.5% flat fee on all chip and pin payments made via the reader, and 1.75% for contactless.
Blockchain Bitcoin Wallets
Blockchain Wallet is the self-proclaimed “world’s most popular Bitcoin wallet”, and provides a cheaper, faster and more secure way of making and receiving payments than many other systems. By using a service like Blockchain Wallet, startups can benefit from additional security and support.
As well as being able to send money internationally, cross platform and to “hierarchical deterministic addresses”, many observers believe that Bitcoin, and the blockchain ledger, are the future. Time will tell, but in the meantime, a Bitcoin wallet from Blockchain is a more than acceptable way of doing businesses with tech-savvy customers globally.
A company as big and as successful as Google, or Alphabet as the parent company is now known, should really have cracked payments by now, and it looks like they are finally getting there.
Google announced a while back that Gmail users would be able to make payments digitally and online, and now it is the same for Google Wallet – with Google comparing its functionality favourably with sending images or videos to friends.
Google Wallet for business allows for 2-click checkout for both Android and iOS apps – Google says that 97% of mobile shoppers abandon their shopping carts before checkout, because on average they have more than 25 fields to fill in beforehand. The advantage Google also has is that nearly everyone has a Google ID, which makes it easy to make purchases in-app if the merchant simply enables Google+ Sign in.
Other payments providers should be very afraid!
Stripe refers to itself as the “complete toolkit for internet business”. Best known as a tool for developers to create custom payment solutions, Stripe has reinvented itself as a branded mobile commerce experience, and 100,000 businesses are already using it.
Stripe provides SDKs for iOS and Android devices which allow businesses to securely store visitors’ details to enable one click payment. Stripe’s technology can be used on crowdfunding platforms, ecommerce stores, subscription services and on-demand marketplaces.
Stripe is still a developer’s dream and has also developed a fraud protection system, Radar, which is as “bleeding edge” as you might expect.
Popular in countries with emerging economies like China and India Digital River is present in 190 countries and offers both local and global card processing, internet transactions and retail purchases.
Digital River also offers marketing services and business consultancy services aimed at helping businesses sell more and scale globally. The SaaS platform provides end-to-end commerce tools, is easy to maintain and has a range of different packages to suit all companies.
Some of the add-on services Digital River provides include back office, order management, merchandising and in-app services, across B2B and B2C.