With Better-Than-Expected Earnings From Square, Comes A Sharp Spike In Its Non-Payment Business

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Square late on Wednesday (March 9) posted earnings that topped analyst estimates and briefly sent its stock soaring 3.7 percent in after-market trading. But of potentially greater interest to the payment facilitator community is that Square’s non-payment revenue hit 15 percent, which is about triple what it was when Square launched its IPO.

In Q415, Square reported gross payment volume (GPV) soaring 47 percent—year over year—to $10.2 billion. The most surprising stat, though, was from Square’s Software and Data Products group. In that same quarter, that software/data products revenue shot up 52 percent (compared with the prior quarter), to $22 million.

“From payment processing to point of sale, hardware to software, business financing to payroll and more, we have built a cohesive commerce ecosystem that helps sellers start, run, and grow their businesses,” Square said in an unattributed portion of its news release. “This makes us unique and stands in marked contrast to the rest of the industry, which forces sellers to laboriously piece together hardware, software, and payments services from many different vendors.”

The company noted that in December, 53 percent of all cards swiped through Square were EMV. That’s up from 12 percent in January 2015. Although it’s absolutely to be expected that EMV charges in December 2015 would be far higher than January 2015, the fact that more half of all of their transactions were already EMV three months ago is noteworthy.

Square reported more than 350,000 pre-orders for its upcoming contactless/chip reader. It contrasted EMV with “new faster forms of payment such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.” In an investor call after the earnings were released, CEO Jack Dorsey said resistance to the more cumbersome EMV is helping fuel support for mobile payment.

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