Weekly Newsletter

13 September 2023

Weekly Newsletter

13 September 2023

Square’s outages will have global impact

Square had outages for two days as frustrated merchants were unable to take any payments

Robert Prendergast September 11 2023

As many frustrated business owners will know, Square suffered global outages last week across its service. On Thursday, Square had over 18,000 outage reports, with Cash App, also owned by Square, having 9,000 reports, with problems running into the following day.

Square will see a global impact in the fallout of these outages, with the company currently operating in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Spain, UK and USA

On several occasions during the problem, Square reported that it had been resolved, only for customers to continue having issues. Many business owners have let their frustration at the situation known, having directly lost money during the outage due to not being able to take payments, and will likely expect a refund for the loss.

It is generally considered that any outage over 30 minutes for a 24/7 electronic payments service is considered critical, let alone the issue stretching over two days. The total amount in merchant sales for Square is estimated to be around $224bn, an average daily amount of $613.6m, meaning a two-day loss in sales would be over $1bn. An outage of this length could be catastrophic for the reputation of Square, with many customers now wondering whether the reliable and simple payment method that they require is now in jeopardy. Merchants may now look at other options, such as developing their own in-house skills or opting for a new partner with a company like Adyen, PayPal or Stripe, amongst a variety of other options.

While we can speculate on how merchants will react, one clear piece of evidence that shows the negativity of the disruption is the drop in share price. At the time of writing the share price for Square stands at $53.08, having been at $57.63 at the close of the market on Wednesday, before the issues began.

With false resolutions, an extraordinary length of the issue and a lack of clarity over the source of the problem will have a huge impact on the company’s future.

How will payment platforms leverage the metaverse effectively?

There will be three key payment channels for settling transactions in the metaverse - Mobile payments, Card payment networks and Cryptocurrencies. GlobalData anticipates that most metaverse platforms will integrate all three payment options, while blockchain-based metaverses will prefer cryptocurrencies to attract crypto-enthusiasts. The development of metaverse-based marketplaces will also trigger competition between centralized banking services (e.g., traditional banks) and decentralized finance (DeFi) providers.

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