Square, the startup disrupting the payments industry with its easy smartphone/tablet card-reader, has today launched Square Directory. It is a web-based search engine that allows users to find new merchants and restaurants based on their location, and the particular items they may be hunting at the time. The service already has over 200,000 businesses listed in the directory.
Square Directory not only helps users find what they’re looking for (a bit like Yelp) but offers users access to various local deals and special offers.
This is a big step towards Square’s focus on more consumer-facing products. The Square Wallet, which essentially replaces your physical wallet and holds loyalty cards and credit card information for hands-free payment with Square merchants, is the backbone of this movement. Yet, by offering products to both consumers and merchants, Square is more equipped to pair the two together at the right time. As expected, Square Directory users will easily be able to check out Square Wallet merchants.
Square’s director of directory (awesome title, btw) Ajit Varma, had this to say:
Square directory gives people the power to instantly find whatever they are craving, from a BLT to a bicycle. Everyday the directory grows with diverse businesses and allows them to display item-level information to new customers.
At Disrupt this year, where Jack Dorsey (founder of Square and co-founder of Twitter) gave the Keynote speech, Reid Hoffman explained that the sexiest, most valuable companies are the ones that find a way to bridge consumer-facing products with enterprise-friendly products. So while disrupting the payments sector is surely exciting for the card-reader company, Square clearly has bigger and better plans when it comes to the end-goal.
Unfortunately for them, there is plenty of competition in this space, what with PayPal, ISIS, Apple, and Google throwing their wallets in the ring.
Square is being used by over 2 million individuals and businesses, and processing over $8 billion in payments (on an annualized basis).