We started Square in February 2009 to enable businesses (sellers) to accept card payments, an important capability that was previously inaccessible to many businesses. However, sellers need many innovative solutions to thrive, and we have since expanded to provide additional products and services to give them access to a cohesive ecosystem of tools to help them manage their business. In the same way that we have provided businesses with fast, elegant, and cohesive tools, we see an opportunity with our Cash App product to build a similar ecosystem of services for individuals. Our purpose of economic empowerment drives the development of all our products and services, as everything we do should give people accessible, affordable tools to grow their businesses and participate in the economy.
Square is a cohesive commerce ecosystem that helps our sellers start, run, and grow their businesses. We combine sophisticated software with affordable hardware to provide sellers powerful payment and point-of-sale solutions. We achieve high seller acceptance rates and fast onboarding, while maintaining low risk and fraud losses as a result of our approach to risk management that emphasizes data science and machine learning. We focus on technology and design to create products and services that are cohesive, fast, self-serve, and elegant. These attributes differentiate Square in a fragmented industry that forces sellers to stitch together hardware, software, and payments services from multiple vendors.
The foundation of our ecosystem is a full service, managed payments offering. Once a seller downloads the Square Point of Sale mobile app, they can quickly and easily take their first payment, typically within minutes. With our offering, a seller can accept payments in person via magnetic stripe (a swipe), EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) (a dip), or NFC (Near Field Communication) (a tap); or online via Square Invoices, Square Virtual Terminal, or the seller's website or app. Once on our system, sellers gain access to features such as next-day settlements, digital receipts, payment dispute management, data security, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.