Image source: squareup.com
This month on Thursday (2022.06.04), Block, Inc. (Square) established a strategic partnership with Apple. According to the terms of the agreement, Block’s Square POS will integrate Apple’s built-in contactless payment acceptance feature called Tap to Pay on iPhones. This service will be offered to selected Square sellers and stores this summer (2022) and will be rolled out to all Block customers by the end of the year.
Through this close strategic collaboration, businesses equipped with iPhones and the Square POS app will be able to accept face-to-face contactless payments in a more secure and seamless manner. On the flip side, for Apple, the integration of Block into the broader ecosystem of tools through Tap to Pay on iPhones will assist sellers in smoothly initiating, operating, and expanding their businesses.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global contactless payment market is expected to reach 20.3% from 2021 to 2028.
Since Block’s early entry into the market, it has continuously developed the experience of using smartphones as card acceptance terminals. With the evolution of time and technology, Block has gradually provided merchants with chip card readers and options for contactless payments, ensuring that businesses do not miss any sales opportunities and gain greater flexibility to use new business tools. These efforts have also helped Block expand its influence in the thriving contactless payment market.
News about Block, Inc.’s (Square’s) development towards the ecosystem has been circulating. All these efforts aim to establish special finance beyond offline store transactions. In 2021, Square spent $29 billion to acquire Afterpay. At that time, UIC’s CSO Jackel Sheng offered some insights on this case to broadly outline Square’s strategic thinking:
From any perspective, Block is poised to become a comprehensive Online and Offline payment service provider, thereby developing a financial ecosystem rather than merely serving small businesses. Having BNPL services is a trend, and this collaboration with Apple indeed demonstrates the multifaceted possibilities of deepening services within the ecosystem. As long as customer data in the payment and financial processes can be obtained, it will aid in expanding data collection, further analyzing consumer advantages, promoting membership loyalty services, and enhancing the retail experience. After all, Square has always favored Apple’s products and developed POS applications on them. With control over every node, information can naturally be rapidly grasped.
Block’s continuous growth in partnerships, robust product portfolio and features, and strengthened merchant advantages will continue to contribute to gaining a competitive edge compared to industry peers such as PayPal, Shopify, and Stripe.