Square could be at crossroads

To sell or IPO, that is the question
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Square, the service that makes it simple for vendors of any size to set up a website and take credit cards from a smartphone or iPad, could be reaching a critical juncture in their evolution as a company.

This week, reports emerged that Square might be up for sale, at least if rumors are correct. re/code for example reports that the infamous "industry sources" have told them both Apple and Google have approached Square about a purchase, but to this point nothing substantial has happened.

re/code has pegged a possible purchase price at a whopping $8 billion and if Apple and Google were truly interested and got into a bidding war, the price could potentially rise considerably.

The company has modernized transaction processing for small businesses, providing a way to set up a new business online, accept credit cards from a smartphone or set up an iPad-based cash register, something I've seen locally in several businesses.

When I was at a craft fair not long ago, just about all the vendors had a Square credit card swiper attached to their smartphones. It was a simple and quick way to complete a transaction and it meant more sales for the vendors because it was so fast and easy. When I encountered a vendor with one of the old credit card swipe machines, it seemed antiquated compared to the Square device.

I'm sure small businesses out there probably don't want their beloved service to be a part of Google (and founder Jack Dorsey is reportedly not thrilled with the idea either). Apple would actually make more sense since the service is designed as an add-on for Apple products, but the smartphone credit card reader component also works with Android, so Google isn't completely out of left field.

An IPO is still also possible, which would of course provide a huge influx of cash and provide a platform for the company to continue growing without being purchased by one of the tech behemoths.

For more information:
- see the re/code article

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