Square is offering business owners their very own Square debit card, one that gives sellers immediate access to their funds after a sale.
Businesses that sign up for Square Card will initially also receive a 2.75 percent discount on all purchases made with other sellers on the Square platform.
Though Square is better known for its core payments tools that allow merchants to accept card payments through a mobile device, the company has branched out into numerous commerce-related verticals designed to encourage spending and keep money flowing within its ecosystem. The Square Card fits nicely into that model.
Typically, when a merchant receives payment for anything from coffee to handmade jewelry the money can take one or two business days to become available in their bank account. A few years back, Square launched a new instant deposit service that, as its name suggests, gives sellers access to their money immediately — but this comes with a fee of 1 percent of the total deposit amount.
The new Square debit card serves a similar function as instant deposits, except it’s completely free to use and is designed to at least partly replace a user’s standard bank card. The 2.75 percent discount on goods sold by other Square merchants provides an extra incentive to use the card, though the company didn’t reveal how this initiative is being funded — the seller still receives the usual amount of money and pays the same transaction fees.
Of course, the Square Card can’t take the place of a standard bank account, but it should prove useful in certain business-related scenarios. It can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard, for example, and cash can be withdrawn via an ATM. A key selling point is that merchants can view their Square Card transactions in a single online interface, alongside all the sales they’ve made.
Importantly, the Square Card helps sellers separate their business and personal spending by marking a transaction within the Square point-of-sale app, which could be useful for tracking expenses at tax time.
“As sellers make crucial spending decisions, we know that fast access to funds — and the ability to put proceeds from sales to use immediately — can help with overall cashflow management,” said Square seller lead Alyssa Henry. “Small businesses have to be nimble. They don’t have the time to wait for funds to clear a bank account, or the resources to easily reconcile personal versus business expenses. Square Card addresses these pain points.”
It’s worth noting here that this isn’t the first physical card Square has offered. As part of Cash App, its consumer-focused money transfer service formerly known as Square Cash, the company launched an accompanying Visa debit card back in 2017.
The new Square debit card will be available to all U.S business owners from January 17, 2019.