« Back to home

A Look at Square

Square, the payments company founded in 2009, is providing small and medium brick-and-mortar merchants with a set of easy-to-use tools to accept debit card, credit card and phone payments.
If you visited a hip coffee shop or trendy food truck in the last couple of years - you've probably used the Square card reader to pay.

The company went public in 2015 and has enjoyed significant growth in its market capitalization in 2017.

We decide to take a look at Square transactions in our panel of over 3 million debit and credit cards to get a sense for how Square usage is growing.

Over the last two years, the total spend by customers in our panel using Square has grown by over 45%.

How big are checks that customers are paying using Square? If you're like me, you're used to seeing Square readers in coffee shops and quick-serve restaurants, and indeed the chart below shows that nearly 75% of transactions are less than $30.

However, when we look at where the bulk of spend comes from, the picture is different: transactions of over $50 account for the majority of the total dollar volume. Square (especially the company's bottom line) isn't just for five dollar lattes!

We were also curious to see where in the United States was Square most popular. We broke down transactions by state and adjusted for population:

Among states with the most Square customers per capita we find some large urban states like New York and California, but also, more interestingly, remote states like Hawaii and Alaska. Perhaps Square makes it possible for small business owners to accept payment cards in places where traditional credit card network and terminal infrastructure is not available.

We also compared the number of Square customers in different states in May 2017 vs. a May 2016. Here are the states with the highest growth:

The chart shows very strong growth of 20% or more, mostly in states outside of the most urban, coastal states. This growth seems to suggest that while the coasts led adoption of Square, the rest of the country is catching up quickly.


The first chart in this post, a chart of total spend using Square over 24 months, was updated on 6/29/2017 at 2:10pm.

Learn more about consumer spending analytics with TXN.