Sep 15, 2022 - World

Square adds Spanish to small business services

Illustration of a pair of exclamation points, one inverted, both using Square's logo as the dots.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

One of the biggest payment-processing companies now offers its services in Spanish.

Why it matters: Spanish is the second-most used language in the U.S. after English; over 41 million people speak it at home, according to Census data.

Details: Square, which allows millions of small businesses to accept credit card payments, announced this week that all of its services and hardware will work in both English and Spanish in the U.S.

  • Businesses — Hispanic-owned and otherwise — will be able to choose which language to use for any banking and loan services hired through Square.
  • Those businesses’ customers will be able to select either language when looking at order totals and tipping options or to input their contact information for a digital receipt.
  • Square, part of a conglomerate that also runs Cash App and the “buy now, pay later” service Afterpay, says it has “millions of users.”

The big picture: Financial tech companies increasingly offer an avenue for Latinos to access cash and payment transactions.

  • Banks have historically underserved Hispanic customers, charging people of color higher fees, for example. They have in the past also denied Latinos loans at higher rates than white non-Hispanics.
  • Over 12% of all U.S. Hispanic households said they don’t have a bank account in 2021, as many Latinos say they distrust banks or fear not having the minimum amounts to maintain an account.

What they’re saying: “By providing fair and accessible financial services tools spelled out in Spanish and backed up by Spanish-language customer service, Square is taking one step further toward ensuring Latino entrepreneurs have the tools they need to start, run, grow, or adapt their businesses,” Christina Riechers, head of product for Square Banking, said in a statement.

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