Square helps regional SMBs to go digital

Living in regional locations doesn’t mean you have to experience second-rate transaction options. Square have just announced it is teaming up with Unity Bank, Southern Cross Credit Union and...

Living in regional locations doesn’t mean you have to experience second-rate transaction options. Square have just announced it is teaming up with Unity Bank, Southern Cross Credit Union and the WAW Credit Union in a string of regional partnerships that will give more small businesses outside of Australia’s capital cities greater access to innovative payments technology.

Small businesses across regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland will be able to benefit from the new partnerships and will see affiliated branches provide access to the iconic Square card reader for contactless and chip for just A$59. Customers will also receive fee-free card processing for their first A$1,000 worth of sales to help them get started.

Square believes Australia’s regional locations have been largely underserved by banks as a result of widespread recent branch and ATM closures.

This move will extend Square’s retail presence with a potential reach of around 100k customers across regional Australia and will also help community banks offer more value to their small business customers. Last year Square also entered into a partnership with BoQ, with Square readers offered in branches to their customers.

While Square has maintained strong growth in Australia’s capital cities (39%), it has seen significant growth from regional areas at 42%, particularly in Western Australia where YoY growth rate has been 47% vs 33% in metro areas and South Australia at 46% vs 39% respectively.

Square’s Country Manager for Australia and Head of APAC Ben Pfisterer welcomed the partnership news, which further extends Square’s reach in regional Australia.

“Square is excited to partner with these community-focussed organisations, like Unity Bank, that provide integral financial services to small businesses across regional Australia.

It’s a big win for small business owners in regional areas when their local banking partners are willing to collaborate on a global scale to give them greater access to some of the world’s best technology solutions.”

Square’s Country Manager for Australia and Head of APAC Ben Pfisterer

Unity Bank CEO Mark Genovese highlighted that offering Square’s services to their small business customers reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to continually drive value.

“Working with Square allows us to offer a simple and affordable solution for digital and card payments, which can help our small business customers get their businesses up and running faster,” he said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our community and we will continue to look at ways to support this important sector to ensure they can digitise and thrive.”

Unity Bank CEO Mark Genovese

The partnership news also coincides with Square’s third anniversary since launching in Australia, with the company revealing they continue to see strong growth in the number of businesses signing up to their platform, particularly across regional Australia.

“We have been humbled by the number of Australian businesses that are trusting us to help them start, run and grow.

While we have maintained a strong presence in metro areas, we’re actually seeing the fastest growth across regional communities, particularly in Western Australia and South Australia, which dispels the myth that entrepreneurialism and business growth is confined to big cities.”

Square’s Country Manager for Australia and Head of APAC Ben Pfisterer

Square devices will be available at the following Unity Bank-affiliated branches across New South Wales from today: Kandos, Lithgow, Mudgee, Oberon, Eugowra, Gulargambone, Trundle, Bankstown, Budgewoi and Gosford.

Participating Southern Cross Credit Union branches include Ballina, Byron Bay, Cabarita Beach, Lismore, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah and South Tweed Heads.

And from WAW Credit Union branches in Albury, Chiltern, Corryong, Lavington, Myrtleford, Tallangatta, Walla Walla, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Yackandandah, Beechworth.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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