December 12, 2013

Square acquires Evenly to strengthen payment services

As smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous among consumers, a number of different startup companies have sought to develop mobile payment methods that can work well with these devices. One of the leaders in this field is Square.

Square allows both individuals and businesses to accept payments on their iOS and Android devices. The technology has become popular among some small retailers, who prefer hooking up an iPad as a cash register rather an investing in the real thing.

Recently, Square took a step toward improving its user experience when it announced the acquisition of Evenly, a startup responsible for a bill-splitting app.

According to an article on Gigaom, the technology acquisition will give Square a partner in its effort to strengthen seller initiatives.

"Evenly's app made it easy for anyone to send or collect payments from friends, anywhere, anytime," Gokul Rajaram, Square's head of product engineering, told the news source. "But more importantly, the team showcased the importance of prioritizing experience over the technical aspects of the product itself. In their own words, 'Life is about sharing experiences, not splitting transactions.'"

It appears that Evenly will embrace its role as part of Square. Already, the company has announced that it would shut down its services in 2014.

It is not yet clear what, specifically, Evenly will do for Square. Though Rajaram said that the company would join Square's seller team, Gigaom speculated that it might be better served giving input on Square's latest venture, known as Cash. This payment service is meant to allow individuals to transfer funds between bank accounts over email.