Square nabs PayPal VP just as the companies become direct competitors

Square

Square

Updated (3:45) with statement from PayPal.

Looks like Square didn’t appreciate PayPal entering its territory. The company confirmed today that it has hired a PayPal vice president to help Square expand abroad and take the competitor on in new territories.

Alyssa Cutright, who served as PayPal’s vice president of products for North America, is joining Square as vice president of international. The announcement comes soon after PayPal launched its PayPal Here product, which competes with Square’s mobile credit card reader.

“Although Alyssa held a product role with PayPal, she was not involved in the creation or launch of PayPal Here,” said a PayPal spokesperson in an e-mail to VentureBeat. “PayPal Here was created by a central global product team led by David Marcus and Hill Ferguson.”

Square declined VentureBeat’s request for comment, but did confirm that Cutright has accepted the position.

Both Square and PayPal Here allow anyone to accept credit or debit card payments via a dongle that attaches to a smartphone via the audio jack. After connecting to the respective mobile application, merchants can use the dongle to swipe a customer’s card and have them sign for the payment on the mobile device’s touch screen. The technology lets small businesses accept payments where they otherwise would have to deal with a clunky point of sale system. It also allows them to be more agile and not have to set up shop in one location.

Square has been a particularly strong voice in this new mobile payments industry, already processing $4 billion in payments a year since it launched in 2010. But PayPal Here has a significant advantage: its international presence. When it launched on March 15, Here became available in the U.S., but also Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada. Cutright will ultimately bring PayPal’s big business savvy and ability to expand to the rapidly growing startup.

Square was created by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and recently took on a $100 million round of funding, bumping its valuation up to $1 billion.

hat tip All Things D