Payments

Why did Jack Dorsey choose Square over Twitter?

  • Square may also be the ideal platform for CEO Dorsey to implement his grand crypto ambitions.
  • In this week's payment news, Square becomes Block as Dorsey goes all into fintech, banking, and crypto.
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Why did Jack Dorsey choose Square over Twitter?

Welcome back to Payments, our bi-weekly newsletter about all things payments — from blockchain to BNPL to B2B. It’s inspired by our payments coverage as well as the top stories from around the payments space. Subscribe here.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey has stepped down as CEO of the social media firm. He’s now likely to concentrate fully on Square, which he co-founded in 2009.

But why choose Square over Twitter?

Square may have started as a payments company managing POS transactions for SMBs, but it’s become something much bigger over the years, as signified by its rebrand to Block, which could indicate its move beyond payments into other areas, including blockchain technology. 

Square owns Cash App, a P2P payments platform that rivals PayPal’s Venmo. It’s also expanding its ecommerce presence with a $29 billion acquisition of Afterpay, one of the biggest players in the BNPL space. It even received a banking charter earlier this year.

While Twitter has been profitable for most of 2021, it reported a net loss of $1.14 billion last year. Meanwhile, Square’s gross profits topped $1 billion this Q3 alone, and it has turned consistent profits for years. Square’s market cap is close to $90 billion, more than double that of Twitter.

Square may also be the ideal platform for Dorsey to implement his grand crypto ambitions. The firm holds about 5% of its cash reserves in bitcoin, and offers bitcoin trading through Cash App. Square also plans to build a decentralized bitcoin exchange, and is even looking to jump into the bitcoin mining business.

Our top stories

Wise and Payfare team up to bring cross-border money transfers to gig workers in 2022
As the global gig economy continues to grow, so does the demand for fast and affordable cross-border payments for gig workers. Canadian payments firm Payfare recently announced an agreement with Wise to bring quick, cheap and secure international money transfer capabilities to Payfare’s digital banking platform in 2022. Wise will be embedded into the Payfare app, enabling gig workers to send international payments to over 80 countries.

If hybrid is the future of finance, Current aspires to be the key that unlocks it
DeFi is beginning to expand beyond a niche market. While the 2010s will be remembered as the decade where decentralized finance was born and developed, the 2020s may be remembered as the time when mass adoption began, as people start to trust the alternate system, which is becoming increasingly accessible and easy to understand.

GlossGenius targets the beauty industry to meet rising demand for SMB fintech
GlossGenius, a business management app, is the beauty and wellness industry’s first dedicated fintech platform. The company offers embedded payments, personalized card readers and lending options to its customers.

Consumers may not get crypto, but they are buying it
With almost 2 in 10 people in the US owning crypto, its popularity continues to climb. But while interest in cryptocurrencies is growing, consumer knowledge around crypto seems pretty weak. Only 4% of people in the US can pass a crypto literacy quiz. (Outlier member exclusive)

Visa’s ‘Tap to Give’ campaign could tap into a new standard for donating to charity
There are now 400 million contactless cards in circulation in the US — double the amount from just over a year ago. With more consumers adopting contactless payments, card, phone and watch tapping could become the new way for donations. From its ‘Tap to Ride’ to its latest ‘Tap to Give’ campaign, Visa seems to have two goals: improve its brand image and increase consumer contact with contactless.

What Marqeta’s entry into the credit card industry means for Marqeta the brand

Earlier in 2021, Marqeta announced it was expanding beyond debit products, looking to capitalize on the growing credit market. Now, as the year ends, it has announced a partnership with the First National Bank of Omaha, in a bid to expand its ecosystem.

Under the new partnership with FNBO, Marqeta will rely on the bank for premier underwriting services, along with enhanced program management capabilities, including compliance and risk management.

Expanding its core offerings not only changes Marqeta the brand’s value proposition but requires a shift in its branding objectives and marketing strategy. To learn what that looks like, we spoke with COO Vidya Peters.

Marqeta aspires to become a one-stop shop for brands looking to offer any of the variety of modern card programs active today, be it debit, credit, or prepaid. 

Read more (Outlier member exclusive)

What we’re reading

Accounts payable automation firm Tipalti raises $270 million to reach $8.3 billion valuation (PYMNTS)

P2P payments platform Lydia grabs another $100 million for its Series C round (TechCrunch)

Visa launches crypto consulting services in push for mainstream adoption (CNBC)

How Square is building a small business banking powerhouse (The Financial Brand)

OCC urges ‘caution’ for FIs offering crypto-related financial services (CoinDesk)

Rakuten, Afterpay combine BNPL, cash-back rewards (PYMNTS)

Vanishing cash means digital literacy is vital (FT)

Metaverse won’t be turning point in cryptocurrency adoption, investor Chesnais says (Reuters)

Meta’s David Marcus, creator of embattled Diem project, to leave company (Bloomberg)

Microsoft to bake BNPL into browser with Zip (Finextra)

American Express taps Opy for its first US third-party BNPL offering (TechCrunch)

Wise embarks on US hiring spree (Finextra)

Stripe powers TikTok’s new tips feature and other money-making opportunities for creators (The Verge)

How Dwolla is evolving payments as real-time erodes traditional channels (The Financial Brand)

Stay ahead of the game with Outlier — Tearsheet’s exclusive daily newsletter — and join the leading financial services and fintech innovators reading us every day.

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