Square Aims at PayPal With New Payments Tool for Websites

  • Merchants can take credit-card payments on their own websites
  • Feature challenges online-payments market leader Paypal

Square Inc. is introducing a new e-commerce tool that lets merchants collect payments on their websites, putting the San Francisco company in more direct competition with online payments leader PayPal Holdings Inc.

The new feature is part of a suite of services unveiled on Wednesday, called "Build With Square." It’s aimed at merchants seeking a single solution for accepting payments in stores and online, letting them track sales and inventory on one dashboard.

"Independent businesses have been poorly served by existing commerce solutions, which require them to laboriously piece together hardware, software, and payments services from many different vendors," Square said in a blog post. "From payments to point of sale, financing to payroll, we believe all sellers -- big or small, online or offline -- should be able to start, run, and grow their entire business with one cohesive system."

Square, led by Jack Dorsey, who is also chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., started by selling smartphone plug-ins that let food truck vendors and other small businesses accept credit-card payments. Square is trying to attract larger businesses by offering a broader range of services, including loans, and tools for managing inventory and analyzing sales.

Square, which held an initial public offering in November, is expecting to become profitable this year.

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