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Square opens up Square Cash payments to businesses in bid to compete with PayPal, Apple Pay

Mobile payments service Square announced on Monday that businesses can begin accepting payments sent via Square Cash, an iPhone and Android app previously aimed exclusively at person-to-person transfers.




Although regular users still won't be charged for transactions, any businesses accepting Square Cash will owe a 1.5 percent processing fee, according to the New York Times. Some rival peer-to-peer apps, like PayPal's Venmo, don't charge any fees, but the amount is still below the 2 to 3 percent Square normally charges for credit and debit card transactions.

Square told the Times that Cash has been fairly successful so far, processing over $1 billion in transactions annually.

One trait separating Square Cash from its rivals is the concept of a "$Cashtag," a short Twitter-like handle used to accept funds. That can potentially make payments simpler for Cash users, who can also make payments via cash.me if they don't have their phone nearby.

The launch comes amid growing competition in the mobile payments arena, spurred largely by the US introduction of Apple Pay in October. Square's main competition though is likely PayPal, which continues to dominate the mobile payments industry.