The world of mobile payments is expanding this week. A company called Square, which makes little plastic blocks that plug into phones and tablets for credit card swiping, is launching Square Market, a new online space for retailers and small businesses to hawk their goods.
Illustrator Caitlin Kuhwald says Square has helped her keep sales she used to lose during cash only purchases.
"I used to have to turn people away. People would come and they would want to buy over a certain amount of goods for me and they didn't have enough cash for it," she says. "[I] had to direct them to an ATM, and most of the time, they never came back again."
Kuhwald is already participating in Square Market. There are a lot of e-commerce services like this in operation -- the millions of precious creations on Etsy come to mind. But Square Market aims to make everything simple and mobile.
Steve Ledford, at the financial services consulting company Novantas, says Square is moving to connect the experience of buying over the Internet and buying in person.
"It’s almost like trying to create a continuum between physical places of business and online places of business," he says.
To hear more about Square Market, click on the audio player above.