Square launched a free business debit Mastercard called Square Card on Thursday that allows users to fund their business expenses without having to wait for proceeds from sales to clear, according to a Square press release.
The card makes funds available as soon as a sale is made. Square Card purchase activity can be viewed along with sales data in Square Dashboard and Square Point Of Sale, and card transactions can be exported in downloadable formats for accounting purposes.
Square Card users also have access to a 2.75% instant discount on purchases made at other Square merchants, encouraging them to spend with their communities with fellow local businesses.
Over the last year small merchants and sellers of all types have started to gain access to more tools allowing them greater flexibility to get paid faster and finance necessary business and operational expenses.
For example, last September, fintech company Payability rolled out a business debit card with a similar aim to what Square seems to have in mind with its Square Card launch. Square also already offers Square Capital small business loans of up to $100,000, another tool for helping the kinds of small merchants that use Square for their point-of-sale payment processing needs to gain access to funds to help them thrive and expand.
It sometimes seems the retail sector has become a land of giants, where Amazon has disrupted many markets that were once the domain of independent businesses, and other massive retailers stepped up their game in these segments to compete with Amazon. However, the rise of online marketplaces has powered the evolution of individual sellers and other small merchants that might not otherwise have access to customers who want their products. Also, companies like Square have used their own disruptive and inexpensive technology tools to turn practically anyone with something to sell into a full-fledged merchant capable of processing different forms of payment.
It is in the interests of anyone making their living off of such sellers to continue contributing whatever help they can to keep the sometimes tenuous small merchant economy on its feet. Amazon may have realized this, too, offering its own small business credit card.