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1 Thing Square Does Better Than its Competitors

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Jan 22, 2021 at 6:53AM

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Plenty of companies offer payment processing, loans, and other services. Here's how Square stands out.

There are plenty of financial-services companies that offer things like payment processing, business loans, and other related services. But most don't have nearly as much growth momentum as Square (SQ -5.29%). That's because there's one very important thing Square simply does better than its competition.

In this Jan. 14 Fool Live video clip, contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, and Brian Withers discuss a particular focus of Square's business that gives it an advantage over its rivals. 

Brian Withers: I like this comment from Dollar and Cents who says, "The Square client experience on the PPP loans was amazing and I'm glad that there was. They put a huge push on making a bunch of those lines and some people were getting same-day approvals and funded within 24 hours. So that's very cool."

Matt Frankel: Yeah, that's just one thing that Square does better than everyone else. When it comes to the payment side of the business, on the merchant side, and the consumer side of the business, they just make things easy. The whole point of the original Square reader was to make accepting credit cards easy. It's not even that it cost much less. I used to be a small business owner myself, and I can tell you that the fees of Square charges aren't different than what I used to pay to have credit cards processed. When I ran a restaurant is what I did, another lifetime ago. It's not even that it's cheaper, it's that it makes it so much easier and more accessible. Businesses start-up to spend thousands of dollars on hardware to be able to do it. You said with the PPP loans, that was a confusing program. I work out of a co-working space in my town and a lot of people needed PPP loans there. There was so much confusion about how do you apply, all this documentation they ask for after you apply. Just a general approval process, so much back and forth that was confusing. Square made it easier. They're not the only ones that do it. I know BlueVine was another one that made it a lot easier, but they just make things easier, and I think that's the particular genius of Square.

Withers: Yeah. When I spent some time with my brother-in-law, he showed me some other reports that he gets from Square for free. All he's paying is the basic per transaction charge to use Square. He doesn't have a monthly subscription or anything like that. He would get all sorts of really easy to consume reports with sales by hour, and versus last year, and all sorts of stuff just built in. He showed me also his PayPal (PYPL -1.50%) stuff. PayPal was like Greek. PayPal was for accountants and Square was for the business people. That was easy to understand stuff that was readily available for him.

Frankel: With any of these Fintech and just to add general technology innovations, my philosophy is I invested what's easy for people to do. My philosophy is if something's not easy, people aren't going to do it, no matter how much it makes sense.

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