Dive Brief:

  • Block’s merchant business Square has rolled out new features for sellers, including customizable website themes and an artificial-intelligence-generated product description tool, Square said Tuesday.
  • Another new feature for merchants: deferred payment accounts. A business owner’s regular customers and corporate clients can charge purchases to the account, and when a merchant is ready to settle up, they issue an invoice for the outstanding balance and collect payment online via credit card, automated clearinghouse payment or a card on file, Square said in a news release.
  • The company also added services and tools related to fulfillment, inventory management and customer engagement and retention.

Dive Insight:

Some of the features were made available yesterday, while the others were introduced over the past couple of months, a spokesperson for Square said

The new features arrive as Square, which caters mainly to small and medium-sized businesses, prepares for a leadership change. Last week, Block said Square CEO Alyssa Henry would leave the company Oct. 2, and co-founder Jack Dorsey would take the helm of the Square business. 

That announcement came just days after Square experienced an outage that stretched over two days, leaving sellers unable to process consumer payments or access their accounts. The company apologized for the outage, which also affected peer-to-peer business Cash App. It also acknowledged in that online statement that “this situation was made more difficult by our communication.”

Earlier this year, Square raised prices for some of its services, including the monthly prices for its online seller plans. The business has also been seeking to add larger merchant clients to fuel growth.

Square revamped its sales approach this year, as the company faces increased competition in the point-of-sale market. That new approach includes organizing its sales staff by industry to have dedicated teams focused on retail, restaurant and services, and adding salespeople seeking out new clients. 

In April, Square introduced dozens of new tools, including one allowing merchants using its appointments-focused product set to offer wait lists for appointment windows, and another related to subscriptions that enables consumers to subscribe for services or products.

Additionally, the business launched certain services in Japan, Canada, France, Ireland, Spain and Australia.

As the business has expanded its merchant offerings, “we’re not just focused on telling a payments story,” Block CFO Amrita Ahuja said earlier this month.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *