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Mobile payment company Square coming to Canada

Square's technology is shown in this image taken from the company's website.

Screen grab

Square, the mobile technology that shook up the payment industry and attracted big-name customers such as Starbucks Corp., is coming to Canada.

The company, founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, announced Wednesday morning that Square's first expansion outside the United States will be north of the border.

Less than three years old, Square builds a small piece of hardware that connects to a headphone jack and allows a smartphone or tablet to collect and process credit card data. Using the hardware, customers can easily set up a credit card payment system without purchasing any additional devices.

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Square offers its hardware and software at no cost to its users, but takes a 2.75 per cent cut of every transaction.

Since making its hardware available in 2010, Square has built a customer base of roughly 2-million, and processes about $8-billion (U.S.) in transactions annually.

Square's competition includes traditional payment processors, who generally charge a lower percentage fee than the company's 2.75 per cent. However Square argues that extra hidden fees and costs actually make traditional processors more expensive.

Since building the hardware, the company has expanded to other areas. The Square software now allows businesses to monitor inventory and build a virtual cash register via an iPad app. Another app, called Square Wallet, allows users to find deals at nearby stores and pay for goods without using cash or credit cards.

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