Square finds perfect fit in Kitchener tech circle

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Square, a mobile payment company, will open a permanent office in downtown Kitchener – its first in Canada. The new digs will employ 30 people and the company has expressed interest in hiring UW co-op students, a plan first expressed by Jack Dorsey, founder of Square and Twitter, when he visited campus to give a talk an entrepreneurship last year.  


Square allows any business to accept credit cards with the ease of an app and a pocket-sized credit card terminal that plugs into the headphone jack of a phone or an iPad. Participating businesses are charged 2.75 per cent per transaction.


“As the engine room for growth in the region, we’re confident that Square will continue the trend of benefitting from world-class research and top-rate technology talent from the University of Waterloo to fuel their Canadian expansion,” said Nick Manning, director of media relations at UW.


In July 2013, the Square team set up a temporary workspace in the Breithaupt Block in Kitchener.


“We are thrilled to be part of Kitchener-Waterloo’s thriving and talented tech community,” said Demetrio Marantis, head of international government, regulatory and policy work at Square in a May 13 press release.


The Square mobile credit card reader and checkout app is only one component of this mobile payment company. Businesses can track inventory and sales, record payment and order entries, view daily summaries and reports through the mobile app. In addition, Square sells hardware components that transforms an iPad into a fully functioning cash register.


The Square Stand, which sells for $99, supports additional features on the iPad including a stand that has a larger, swipe-able, version of the credit card reader and an attachable accessories hub of USB ports for add-ons such as a receipt printer, barcode scanner and cash drawer. The adds-ons can also be linked to the iPad by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.


Another Square project –Square Cash – is currently unavailable in Canada. Square Cash allows users to send and deposit cash to their debit cards through email.


Square Wallet, which was supposed to allow users to purchases items without taking out their credit cards is now defunct as of May 12 when it was pulled from the Apple and Google app stores.


Square currently employs more than 800 people worldwide and is based in San Francisco. 
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