Square is turning point-of-sale companies that at one time could’ve been considered enemies into allies, with two new partnerships with Vend and TouchBistro. Square will now offer Vend and TouchBistro‘s restaurant, retail and other business owner clients full access to Square’s platform, including its hardware, payments infrastructure and financial service offerings (like loans for small businesses).
Once upon a time, when Square kept things much more closed down, companies like Toronto’s TouchBistro and New Zealand’s Vend were more directly competitive with its own offerings. Square’s POS system and Register app were an alternative to the solutions provided by either of its two new partners. Since Square started offering access to its individual services, however, including its accounting and inventory tools, and after it debuted its public APIs in March, the opportunity for retailers to use more hybrid solutions opened up.
The new approach that allows Square to work together with companies like Vend and TouchBistro makes a lot more business sense. It means TouchBistro and Vend customers have options to a range of new hardware options, including access to the Square reader (which in the U.S., can process contactless and Apple Pay transactions), and for Square, it offers another new vector (Square is already teaming up with restaurant management software provider Upserve in a similar capacity) for one of its most important new product categories: financial services for small businesses.
Square Capital is a rapidly growing part of Square’s business, with 123 percent growth year-over-year in terms of loans extended. The other key number for Square’s future growth is its gross payment volume, which was up 42 percent year-over-year, but which stands to grow a lot more if its payment system can be used by retailers on other POS platforms, as is now possible with Vend and TouchBistro customers.
The new integrations for businesses using TouchBistro and Vend begins with a limited group today, but the plan is to roll it out to all existing and future restaurants and retailers working with either of those POS companies over the course of the next few weeks.