Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Square Opening New Offices in New York and Waterloo

Jordan Crook and Sarah Perez of TechCrunch:

The growth has led Square to seek out new office space outside the Bay Area, in locations that are both strategic for Square’s growth as well as areas where engineering talent can be found. In New York, the company has signed a lease for an office in the SoHo area, and plans to triple its engineering presence there within one year. The Canadian office – Square’s first permanent office in the country – will open in 2014.

Square’s push into Canada has, so far, been uneventful. They launched the Register app here in January and began sending out card readers around that time (I have one). However, they were also supposed to launch the Wallet app this year as well, and it looks increasingly like they won’t.

The lack of enthusiasm for Square is apparent when you look at Market — the directory of businesses using Square for payments. It can find no nearby businesses for a downtown Calgary postal code; my own postal code returns about half a dozen results, none of which are actually near me (and I live in a fairly dense area with a lot of small businesses). Typical postal codes for dense areas of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are similarly sparse on the Square Market.

It’s rather unsurprising for Canadians, though. We already have cashless billing in the form of our Interac system, which Square doesn’t support. That’s a non-starter in this country. Square is smart in the US, but there’s little impetus for local businesses to start using a point-of-sale system that doesn’t support one of the most common payment formats, and doesn’t appear to be in a rush to launch their Wallet app here.