Forbes - - TECHNOLOGY -

Pay­ment pi­o­neer Square was born in 2009 when its co­founder couldn’t ac­cept credit cards to sell his art­work. Today you see its iconic card read­ers at hair sa­lons, neigh­bor­hood cof­fee shops and week­end art fairs. The com­pact white squares lever­age the func­tion­al­ity of smart­phones to bring fast, re­li­able credit card pro­cess­ing and in­ven­tory man­age­ment to ar­ti­sans and small busi­nesses like the ones also helped at Pa­treon. Now the com­pany is bet­ting on the lit­tle guy again, with Square Cap­i­tal. It uses the com­pany’s data to make in­stant loans to small busi­nesses left be­hind by tra­di­tional banks. Square Cash, its new pay­ment app, al­lows peer-to-peer money ex­changes with­out the need of a bank. Square shares rose 154% in 2017 and are up 30% so far in 2018. With sales growth av­er­ag­ing 77%, it’s still a buy. Jon D. Mark­man is pres­i­dent of Mark­man Cap­i­tal In­sight.

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