A new payment system currently taking the US by storm is rumoured to be landing on our shores this year, according to the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

Square is a mobile card reader which attaches to iPhones, iPads and Android devices, allowing retailers to accept credit card payments while on the move. This innovative device has enjoyed significant success in America, where it has become known as a cheap and simple way to process electronic payments.

Speculation about Square becoming available for retailers in Australia began early last month after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted a picture of himself with the Square’s creator, Jack Dorsey.

Accompanying the photo, Mr Turnbull also issued an cryptic, unofficial statement revealing he had discussed a ‘disruptive innovation soon to come to Aus’.

While Mr Turnbull and Mr Dorsey were quick to deny the rumours, inside sources have revealed to AFR they believe preparations are being made to scope out potential retail partners and local markets which could be used to test the Square’s viability in Australia.

Additionally, a registry search shows the company has already registered the ‘square.com.au’ web address.

The official position from the Square’s Director of Product Communications and Marketing, Khobi Brooklyn, is that Australia is just one potential channel the company is investigating, with no real plans to expand into our market.

“We continue to look into expanding our presence around the world. Australia’s focus on growing its local economy and its appreciation for technology makes it a compelling market, however we have nothing further to announce at this time,” she told AFR on January 28.

Retailers in Australia has recently been spoiled for choice on payment systems. According to a August 13 release from Smart Company, 2013 saw Pin Payments launching, Braintree landing in the local market and PayPal releasing new technology that allows businesses to accept mobile payments.

However, the Square technology seems to be the first development which allows businesses to swipe credit and debit cards through a mobile device and have the funds transferred immediately. This means retailers no longer have to lose out when a consumer decides not to carry cash.

When the Square lands in Australia, the benefits are expected to be significant, so it would be worth considering adding this new innovation into your future retail strategy planning.

Author Pippa Kulmar

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