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Square Unboxed 2020: Partners ‘Crucial’ to Square’s Future Growth

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2020 Growth

At Thursday’s Square Unboxed 2020, Square unveiled a new developer tool and new partner programs to fuel growth.

Since 2018, the number of 90-day active developers building solutions for sellers on Square’s platform has grown nearly 80%. Square also more than quadrupled its managed partner base since 2018. Furthermore, it more than doubled seller adoption of partner solutions and expects to reach 1 million total partner-connected sellers in 2021.

Pankaj Bengani, Square‘s global head of partnerships, opened Square Unboxed 2020 by saying, “Today is more than just about product releases and the ecosystem growth.”

Square's Pankaj Bengani

Square’s Pankaj Bengani

“It’s about a difficult year and coming out of that showing resilience, adaptation and creativity working together,” he said. “I want to thank our partners, developers and sellers who choose to work with Square.”

Terminal API

Square’s new Terminal API enables developers to connect Square Terminal to their PoS, ERP or practice management system. Square Terminal is an all-in-one payments device. They can connect regardless of the platform or operating systems on which they are developed.

Whether developers build on iOS, Android, web, or desktop, Terminal API helps them build flexible business management software.

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The arrival of Terminal API shows how Square’s platform is evolving to meet the changing needs of developers, partners and the sellers they serve, Bangani said. Terminal API is available now in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Square’s continued investment in its developer platform and partner ecosystem have proven absolutely critical, especially as developers turn to Square to help sellers get their business to adapt in the wake of COVID-19,” he said.

Square also announced:

  • A new partner program for agencies. It will unlock Square resources to encourage and support agencies to build a Square Online.
  • A new Solutions Partners Accelerator Program for Terminal API. It gives support and product access to system integrators (SIs) building into Terminal API.

“We want to increase the frequency and the ease with which we connect sellers with partners,” Bengani said. “Therefore, we’re investing in our app marketplace. Some of the things we’re doing include incorporating [machine learning] models that drive recommendations to sellers, adding new surfaces such as collections, and finally enabling seller ratings and reviews. We’re just getting started — and we’re going to continue investing in developing features to enhance partner discoverability and personalization.”

Investment in Capabilities

Amrita Ahuja is Square‘s CFO.

Square's Amrita Ahuja

Square’s Amrita Ahuja

“Our developer platform and app marketplace are both important areas of our investment to help extend our ecosystem capabilities and better address the needs of more sellers, particularly those with more custom needs,” she said. “Our developer platform enables a combination of partnership integrations, other third-party integrations and customer solutions for larger sellers. We’ve seen our developer platform resonate with larger sellers. In 2019, 46% of our gross payment volume (GPV) for larger sellers came from businesses that used our open platform. That’s up more than three times from 2016.”

Even this year, during the disruption by the pandemic, Square’s open platform allowed the company to win new business with increasingly sophisticated sellers, Ahuja said. These sellers are taking the slowdown as a moment to reevaluate their commerce status.

“And in each case, the combination of our APIs and our partner ecosystem played a critical role in designing future-looking commerce solutions for their businesses,” she said. “But the platform doesn’t just serve our largest sellers. [Smaller businesses] are using a variety of integrated partners alongside Square products to run their business and grow in new directions. Having a wide range of high-quality partner solutions that are completely integrated into Square is critical for us to continue growing with sellers as they grow.”

Furthermore, partners are critical to helping Square serve sellers in segments it isn’t as well-positioned to address with first-party products alone, like health care, Ahuja said.

“Partners are also part of our international growth strategy, amplifying our go-to-market and providing crucial feedback on our platform,” she said.


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