Square Adds Spanish-Language Support in Expansion to Latino Small Businesses
Square, the small business credit card service, has decided to tap into the U.S. Latino small business market with a new Spanish-language version of their point of sale app. Beginning this month, Square is pushing into Latino-heavy business markets across the country.
The trend of Latino buying power in the U.S. is upward and not likely to abate any time soon, as we've been tracking, so it makes sense that Square, which specializes in helping small businesses expand into credit card payments, would find the Latino business community a valuable place to expand to.
So Square has unveiled a Spanish-language version of their payment software, Register, along with its suite of analytics, and has localized its online market in Spanish for Latino sellers across the U.S. It also launched the #SomosSquare social media hashtag to raise awareness in the Latino business community.
"Every entrepreneur and business owner should have access to tools and resources that inform their decisions and help them reach their goals," said Nicaraguan-born Square executive Ricardo Reyes, in the company's announcement. "Square's powerful tools offer more than just a point of sale, they build on the experience for the business and its customers. Now Square is optimized for Latino businesses to serve their customers across the U.S."
The Latino market for startups and tech companies is increasingly being seen as valuable, as Twitter's new Latino outreach attests to, and studies have shown that Latinos tend to be ahead of the digital curve -- more likely to own smartphones, more likely to use the mobile internet, and generally oversampling on surveys asking about the use of next-generation devices and services.
But for high tech ecommerce, according to the Financial Times, Latinos haven't been targeted as much as they have for media and general consumer goods. "It's inherently viewed as a risky, small market," said Reyes to FT.
But Square has done its research, finding that Latinos oversample for small business entrepreneurship, as well.
In Florida for example, according to Square's research, nearly a quarter (22.4 percent) of businesses are Latino-owned.
In Texas, the number of Latino-owned businesses is squarely one in five.
And in California -- home to L.A. and San Francisco, two other cities where Square launched its #SomosSquare campaign for Latino small businesses -- more than 16 percent of businesses are Latino-owned.
While Square's marketing generally targets "hip" small businesses, like gourmet ice cream or coffee shops, Square's Spanish-language site is reportedly aimed at more traditional small businesses: bakers, corner stores, and contractors. Square's Spanish-language-packaged card readers are going on sale online but also in Walmart and Home Depot, where they hope to attract the tech-unafraid but more traditional, Latino small business owners.
According to the FT, Reyes had to push Square to market to Latinos without being afraid of appearing too broad in its message, considering how diverse and un-monolithic communities with the label "Latino" really are. "We don't have to be tepid about this," said Reyes, rallying his cohorts, according to FT. "If we're going to do it let's embrace the culture and let's get it," he said. "But it also helps that my name is Ricardo Reyes," he said to FT.
Square is a small-business payment processing and mobile payments company founded in part by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and based in San Francisco.
Small business owners use its Square Register app for iOS and Android, along with the company's signature "Square Reader" -- a plastic device that plugs into the audio jack of mobile devices and reads credit and debit cards with a swipe -- to accept and process payments anywhere.
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