Square processes USD4m of mobile payments per day

Square is now processing USD4m in mobile payments every day, as the firm continues its rapid growth amid increasing interest in the mobile payments market. The startup claims that it is on course to surpass USD100m in payments for July, and Square COO, Keith Rabois, tells TechCrunch that the figure is set to double by October. The daily total is up from just USD1m in March and USD3m daily in May as users continue to adopt mobile payments. However, while many rival firms are focusing on NFC-based mobile payments, Square is fast becoming a popular alternative with its card reader plug in.  Rabois claims that the firm is planning international expansion next year as it continues to build on its recent growth.

The figure caps a successful few months for Square after it secured USD100m in funding that reportedly values the startup at USD1bn. The valuation comes amid continuing debate regarding the emergence of a tech bubble, punctuated by what some believe are over-valuations of tech firms. While Square’s growth rate appears impressive, some believe it needs to lessen its reliance on Apple, with nearly two-thirds of its transactions occurring from iOS devices. A fifth of transactions now come from Apple’s iPad, with payments on the tablet gaining traction since Square launched its Register app in May, which turned the tablet into a point of sale device.

Despite its success, Square faces increasing competition in the coming months as high-profile competitors ready their own mobile payments services. Google and Isis, a joint venture between US mobile operators AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, are among the firms developing NFC-based offerings, with the technology expected to become the mobile payments standard as the market develops and smartphone vendors and operating systems begin to integrate the technology into their handsets and software.

Global mobile payment users will soar 38.2% year on year to surpass 141m in 2011, according to research by Gartner, though analyst Sandy Shen believes that mass adoption of NFC services is still some four years away, as service providers have yet to “realise the complexity of the service model”. Such a delay could present an opportunity for Square to expand and snare consumers that are ready to embrace the mobile wallet, with Juniper Research forecasting that mobile payments will become a USD670bn market by 2015.

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