Square Scraps Monthly Pricing Option; Pogo> Hits Hong Kong (Nov. 12, 2013)
Merchants using Square for payment card transactions no longer will have the option of paying a flat monthly rate to process payments, effective Feb. 1, 2014. In a post on its Website, Square said the move was a result of feedback from merchant customers that said the transaction limits on the monthly program were inhibiting growth; businesses on the plan—which costs $275 per month—can process up to $250,000 per year, but then are required to pay Square’s standard 2.75 percent rate for each swipe after that.
Unveiled in August 2012, Square’s monthly pricing option was aimed at small merchants with high transaction volumes and was positioned as an extension of Square’s ethos of bringing transparency and simplicity to payment processing contracts. The monthly pricing option appears to be a rare misstep for the San Francisco-based company, which has carved out a dominant niche in the U.S. m-POS market and generated buzz earlier this month when founder Jack Dorsey was reported to be mulling an IPO for 2014.
In other m-POS news, MasterCard and payments processor First Data have entered an agreement to launch First Data’s Pogo> m-POS service in Hong Kong. Launched in the U.S. in 2012, Pogo> will expand into Hong King with insurance firm The Prudential Assurance Company Ltd. Hong Kong as its first enterprise client. Prudential will equip its sales force with Pogo> readers, to offer Prudential customers another payment option. In addition to the U.S. and Hong Kong, Pogo> also is available in Singapore and Malaysia.