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Square makes e-commerce play

US-based payments provider Square has today launched a new feature making it possible for Australian businesses to accept online card payments.

The API for e-commerce allows sellers and developers to integrate their websites with Square to process payments online. The company has also partnered with popular e-commerce platforms, including BigCommerce, Weebly, Ecwid, Wix, WooCommerce and Magento, which means online retailers can now offer Square as an online payment option.

“It’s more common than ever for businesses of any size to sell their products or services online and in-person, so having a fully integrated omni-channel system gives them a powerful advantage,” said Square’s Australian country manager Ben Pfisterer.

“Businesses can now accept payments through any channel and gain a single, holistic view of their business, which vastly reduces the complexity of having to navigate numerous, disparate systems.”

Founded by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey in 2009, Square began as an easy way for small businesses to accept point-of-sale card payments on their smartphone or tablet. Since then, the payment provider’s offering has expanded to include contactless card readers and business management tools.

The company only launched in Australia in March 2016, but already it sees the market as a key region for growth.

“The key thing with the Australian market is that it fits those requirements we look for in a new or existing market,” Pfisterer said.

“It has a high penetration of smartphones, an entrepreneurial community, a large number of small businesses and it’s a mature payment space as well, so it’s quite competitive.”

Square declined to provide the exact number of Australian small businesses using its products, but named Skittle Lane Coffee, Sportsbike, Signed & Numbered, Market Lane Coffee and Dukes Coffee Roasters as among its users. In addition, Kanye West’s global “Pablo” pop-up event in late 2016 used Square to accept payments at its Melbourne and Sydney locations.

Besides support for online payments, Square has launched another API that allows any iOS or Android point-of-sale platform to process payments with Square, so businesses can use their hardware with any third-party backend system.

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