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Square U Recruits College Students As Sales Force

Posted on Feb 08, 2012

Square Inc. is breaking the payments processing rules again.

In 2009, the San Francisco-based payment leader first cracked the mold for traditional credit card merchant accounts. And now, three short years later, the company is doing it once more.

According to a recent article in Digital Transactions, Square is assembling a part-time sales force of college students from around the country. The Square U reps will be tasked with finding local merchants that will use the company as their payments processor.

Some experts in the article say the sales strategy is significant because Square has found so many merchants through word of mouth and media attention.

The college students could be effective at selling the service to merchants near campus thanks to Card Case, a mobile wallet that enables a Square merchant to pull up a photo for authentication. As of late 2011, 20,000 merchants have signed up to accept Card Case.

Will Square's idea work? Some experts say they don't know.

With students working only 9 to 15 hours each week I don't know if they can make enough to stay interested in the long term, said Leilani Doyle, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management for US Dataworks. I like the concept of finding an easy way to get college students some real-life experience and learn about business. But I am not sure if college students would even understand what a casual retailer is.

Source: Digital Transactions, January 2012