Slideshow 7 of Square's Efforts to Shape Up

  • August 15 2014, 2:38pm EDT
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Square is under pressure to adapt to the onslaught of competition from the likes of Amazon, PayPal, Groupon and Fiserv, all of which have applied their own spin to the mobile card reader concept. Square has recently made a number of moves to improve its offerings and its image.


Square is not ready to sell its chip-and-signature card reader, or even commit to a specific date and price. But it has revealed how it will handle EMV-chip cards, assuring merchants that they will be able to remain Square customers without increasing their fraud liability when chip cards are more common.

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Stepping Up Security

In addition to planning for chip-and-signature cards, Square is improving security in through the launch of a "bug bounty" program to attract help from hobbyist hackers. Shortly after the program's launch, Square was able to quickly close up some potential vulnerabilities with its technology. (Image: ShutterStock)

Swarm of Services

In recent months, Square has launched a number of non-payment services. Its clients can obtain loans, get feedback through digital receipts and even accept appointments and orders online. Most of these services come at a fee, which should improve Square's revenue if they become popular. (Image: Bloomberg News)


Square has a number of platforms for communication, including a general news blog and an engineering blog. It also recently posted a "Top 10" list of merchants' negative perceptions of the company in an effort to dispel any myths that might be keeping clients away. Pictured: Square CEO Jack Dorsey (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Beyond the Mobile Point of Sale

Some of Square's new services don't have much to do with its flagship mobile card reader. In particular, its appointment-scheduling service can be used by merchants who don't use Square for payments. Square also offers services such as Bitcoin acceptance only through its online marketplace.

Burn Bad Moves

Square has not been shy about killing off ideas that didn't work out. In the past few years it has eliminated a flat monthly fee for transaction processing, a digital gift card service and a cloud-based mobile wallet. It has also reportedly eliminated a planned credit card before the product even launched.

Buy New Businesses

Square has an appetite for complementary businesses. Its recent purchase of the food delivery company Caviar should improve Square's order-ahead services, and its purchase of BookFresh has already fueled the development of its new Square Appointments service. (Image: Thinkstock)