Square, Inc., the folks that offer the credit card swiper for smart phones, launched Square Capital this week, a program that promises to help businesses “grow by giving them quick access to funds in a way that’s easy to understand.”
According to Square, independent businesses have historically faced high hurdles when trying to get capital, often forced to spend months filling out massive amounts of paperwork and navigating complicated application processes. With Square Capital there is no application process, and businesses get their money as soon as the next business day. Businesses automatically pay Square as a set percentage of daily card sales, so they pay more when sales are strong and less if things slow down. Square creates unique offers for businesses with the expectation that sellers will complete their advance in approximately 10 months, although there is no set time frame. The cost to the seller never changes, regardless of how long it takes to pay Square.
During the pilot program, thousands of sellers used Square Capital to buy equipment and inventory, hire more employees, and add new stores. Many neighborhood businesses with access to alternative funding sources chose Square Capital for the simple and fast process.
“We’re really grateful for Square Capital, which helped us add a sixth coffee shop location and expand our Roastery,” said New York–based Cafe Grumpy owner Caroline Bell. “We got our money quickly and the ease of automatic payments allowed us to focus our time and energy on serving great coffee to our customers. Square Capital helps keep independent businesses like ours running and growing.”
In a recent survey commissioned by Square of over 1,000 Square Capital businesses, 85 percent said they are “extremely likely” to recommend the product to a friend.
Square’s Capital pilot advanced tens of millions of dollars in capital to thousands of Square businesses.
Sellers actively running their business with Square may be able to participate in Square Capital, based on their processing volume and history with Square. The first step to becoming eligible for Square Capital is to download Square Register for either iOS or Android and start running a business with Square today.
Square can offer capital to a wide array of young companies with high-growth potential — something that many financial institutions do not do. Square’s data enables a holistic and real-time understanding of a business’ sales history, growth, cash flow, and financial needs. With Square Capital, businesses will sell a specific amount of their future card sales to Square and in return the seller will receive a lump sum payment.
The media release from Square highlighted that “sellers are increasingly turning to Square as the engine to run their business Square recently added inventory management and offline mode to Square Register, and also launched Square Feedback and pickup, which allows customers to order items prior to arriving at a store.”