Square Looks To Future After Slowdown Due To Pandemic

Despite seeing business slow down during the COVID-19 pandemic, payments platform Square is still looking toward future expansion.

The company revealed last month that its losses increased to $106 million during the first quarter as the coronavirus shuttered many merchant locations. In addition, card-present volumes were down approximately 60 percent year-over-year in the last two weeks of March, while seller volume was 39 percent lower this April than it was a year earlier.

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However, the numbers weren’t all bad. Square also reported revenues were up 43.9 percent year over year, and roughly $80 million better than expected. Earlier this month, it announced that it processed more than $820 million in Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in six weeks.

Square recently made the announcement that it has acquired Verse, a Spanish P2P payments app that allows customers to send and receive payments free of charge.

“We were drawn to Verse’s strong team, and they share a similar approach to us around inventing and learning to better serve customers. Verse will join the Cash App organization at Square, enabling the two teams to learn from one another as we provide them with additional support through Cash App technology and resources,” the company said in a statement.

Since its launch five years ago, Verse has become available in more than 15 countries, and the app is available in all 27 EU countries and works with all of the local currencies. Square explained that its main priority is to help Verse expand further into Europe. With that in mind, Verse will join the Cash App organization at Square, but continue to operate as an independent business. The teams will share information, with Verse receiving support through Cash App technologies and resources.

The acquisition comes less than six months after Square bought Toronto-based Dessa, which builds machine learning applications that address significant real-world challenges for businesses and is well-known for its work on deepfake detection. The deal will help Square expand its machine learning work, as well as improve its products, passing along the benefits to customers around the world.