Square, the mobile payment system most often associated with small, hip, urban businesses, is coming to Wal-Mart.
That is to say, Wal-Mart won’t be using Square devices itself, but it will be selling them.
Square said it is signing up lots of new merchants these days — between 30,000 and 50,000 new merchants each month — and we’re sure having its mobile hardware available at such a ubiquitous retailer will only drive up the number of signups as well as the correlated dollar amounts for payments processed and processing fees collected.
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The company revealed to BusinessWeek today that its smartphone hardware for reading credit cards would soon be available in Wal-Mart stores around the United States.
Currently, Square devices are sold at select Best Buy, Target and Apple stores. With Wal-Mart on board, Square devices will be sold at more than 9,000 retail outlets around the country.
Between NFC (that’s near-field communication) technologies like Google Wallet and a number of other mobile payment hardware solutions, Square is facing stiff competition.
In addition to the massively mainstream deal with Wal-Mart, Square is also armed with $100 million in new funding. The round also put Silicon Valley rock stars on Square’s board, which now includes Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures and former Obama chief economy adviser Larry Summers.
As of last month’s funding announcement, Square processes almost $4 million in mobile credit card payments every day. The startup expects that figure to exceed $1 billion by the end of 2011. The company is reportedly valued at around $1 billion.