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Square’s Cash App is hiring for a slew of positions hinting at plans to attract more merchants and compete directly with payment networks like Mastercard and Visa

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square. Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Cash App wants to be 'the most sought-after payments network in …

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Jack DorseyJack Dorsey, CEO of Square.

Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

  • Cash App wants to be ‘the most sought-after payments network in the US,’ according to recent job postings.
  • It’s hiring for roles to build out new payments flows, which could cut out networks like Mastercard and Visa.
  • Cash App Business is already growing fast, accounting for 8% of Square’s total volumes as of Q4 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For Square, 2020 was, in many ways, the year of Cash App.

The payment giant’s personal finance offering saw 440% growth last year. And while a large portion of that was a result of the resurgence of cryptocurrency, Cash App’s non-Bitcoin related revenue still grew by 137% year-over-year in 2020.

Meanwhile, on the seller side of Square, where it’s known for its white cash registers and card readers popular at coffee shops, revenue grew just 2% year-over-year.

Now, Square is looking to build on the momentum of the past year as it hires for a slew of positions at Cash App focused on turning the app into much more than just a peer-to-peer Venmo rival.

Of the more than 500 job postings on Square’s website, nearly 100 are for Cash App. And while many are engineering and product roles for existing offerings, a few are focused on new Cash App tools and features that indicate ambitious plans Square has for the growing app.

Cash App is building “the fastest, most reliable, and easiest to use payment network,” according to the job postings. And in some use cases, that could position it to compete directly with traditional payments networks like Mastercard and Visa.

Part of the strategy includes a push to get more merchants using Cash App Business, where consumers pay businesses via Cash App’s peer-to-peer network. That means Square doesn’t have to pay fees to payments networks for credit and debit-card transactions.

“It’s not only the opportunity to merge the seller and the Cash App ecosystems and potentially dramatically increase margins on those transactions,” Maximilian Friedrich, an analyst at ARK Invest, told Insider. Square would likely earn the majority, if not all, of transaction revenue in cases where money is moving within the Square and Cash App ecosystems, Friedrich added.

“It’s also opening up the Cash App platform, which has 36 million users, to merchants more broadly,” Friedrich said. “Those, for us, are very interesting value propositions.”

Cash App is hiring to build the ‘most sought-after payments network in the US’

Cash App, launched in 2013, is led by Brian Grassadonia, a 10-year Square veteran who joined the company as its first product manager in 2010. The app started as a way for users to send and receive money, but has since evolved to include banking and trading features.

It has over 36 million monthly active users as of December, up 50% from the end of 2019. Square says that its average customer acquisition for Cash App is less $5 per user. It’s growth is largely driven by the network effects of its P2P offering.

In 2021, it plans to increase marketing spend in an effort to re-engage the 80 million consumers that have used Cash App in the past, but aren’t currently active, CFO Amrita Ahuja said during Square’s fourth quarter earnings call.

But Cash App isn’t just focused on consumers. It’s starting to lure businesses, too.

The payments giant is looking to turn Cash App into its own payments network that expands beyond P2P to include merchants, based on recent job postings. Offering Cash App as a payment method with merchants would put Square in direct competition with card networks like Amex, Mastercard, and Visa, as well as other payments players like PayPal.

For one, Square is searching for someone to lead network business development and sales for Cash App. They’ll be tasked with turning Cash App into “the most sought-after payment network in the US,” according to the job description. This person will work with Cash App’s network team. Square declined to provide more details on the job postings.

Square is also hiring several senior software engineers focused on “new product” within the Cash App network product team, which is “all about finding new ways to pay and get paid,” according to the job descriptions.

The team, which is relatively new, is led by Austin Broyles, who worked at Square as a staff engineer from 2011 to 2013. He returned to the company in October 2020 as an engineer for Cash App, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Cash App for businesses is growing quickly

Square’s push to lure merchants on to Cash App Business is part of the company’s strategy to create a so-called closed-loop payments network.

Through Cash App Business, Square is able to cut out intermediaries, moving money internally between Cash App consumer and business accounts via its existing peer-to-peer framework.

Payments between consumers and sellers all occuring within the Cash App ecosystem mean Square stands to earn more on each purchase, as opposed to giving up fees to credit and debit-card processors like Visa and Mastercard.

Square monetizes Cash App Business transactions at 2.75%, Ahuja said during Square’s third quarter earnings call last year. And while profit margins on Cash App Business transactions haven’t been disclosed, the closed-loop nature of the payments could mean Square’s earning more than the overall 1.23% transaction-based profit margins Square reported for 2020.

“From our understanding, those transactions should be very profitable for Square,” Friedrich said.

For Square, by cutting out credit and debit cards, the entire transaction happens inside the Cash App ecosystem, meaning it earns more on each transaction.

“That’s a very different picture to the rest of Square’s business,” he added in regards to how Square normally facilitates purchases made with debit and credit cards by giving up a slice of revenue to those card processors.

And Cash App Business is growing fast. Total volumes grew 216% year-over-year in 2020, accounting for 8% of Square’s total volumes as of the fourth quarter last year (up from 3% at the end of 2019).

Cash App Business’ transaction-based revenues were up 221% year-over-year at $234 million in 2020, accounting for about 17% of Cash App’s non-Bitcoin-related revenue, according to its fourth quarter earnings report.

The value proposition to merchants is simple: With 36 million active users and marketing tools like rewards platform Boost, Cash App could help sellers win more sales, Friedrich, said.

To be sure, Visa and Mastercard still maintain massive market share as two of the largest payment networks in the world. In the US alone, the two companies processed 87% of the more than $6.75 trillion in credit and debit-card transactions in 2020, according to Nilson.

To be sure, Square is still focused on its bread-and-butter seller ecosystem. It’s also hiring a senior software engineer focused on new products for Square Capital, its business lending offering. The hire will be focused on building a new set of financial offerings for sellers, according to the job posting.

It’s a new team that’s building an “unreleased product that is expected to ship in Q2 2021,” the job posting says. “This new product will redefine the future of financial services for small businesses on Square.”

Cash App is also hiring for its own commerce offering

Last December, Cash App released a line of branded merch, like sweatshirts and hoodies, offered at a discount if consumers paid with Cash App. The rollout was something of a beta test for a closed-loop retail network, whereby Cash App users shop and pay all within the app.

Now, it’s hiring engineers focused on building a commerce experience.

“The Commerce team is building new retail payment experiences on Cash App that leverage our vast omni-channel Seller ecosystem at Square,” the job postings say.

Cash App’s checkout is powered by an OAuth 2.0-based API, an industry standard in authorizing purchases and a function usually owned by card networks and banks. By using this API, Cash App is looking to “empower the consumer in what is traditionally a merchant and bank-controlled world,” according to the job descriptions.

Cash App’s merch line is linked in the job description as a demo of what the commerce team is building.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], Signal (801-824-5318), or direct message on Twitter @shannen_balogh.

  • Cash App Business is already growing fast, accounting for 8% of Square’s total volumes as of Q4 2020.
  • Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/square-cash-app-hiring-build-own-payments-network-visa-mastercard-2021-4-1030272257

    square's-cash-app-is-hiring-for-a-slew-of-positions-hinting-at-plans-to-attract-more-merchants-and-compete-directly-with-payment-networks-like-mastercard-and-visa

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    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command

    SES Government Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, in close partnership with a key U.S. Government customer, designed, developed and f…

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    SES Government Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, in close partnership with a key U.S. Government customer, designed, developed and fielded an O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) reachback capability to provide mission-critical communications for a key combatant command. The awarded task order for USD 11.8 million is against the single-award USD 516.7 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for medium earth orbit (MEO) low-latency high-throughput satellite (HTS) services. This is the 15th task order awarded to SES GS on this BPA.

    This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210516005061/en/

    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command (Photo: Business Wire)

    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command (Photo: Business Wire)

    With this agreement, SES Government Solutions expands its high-throughput, low-latency services in support of mission-essential combatant command requirements, as the customer needs evolve, by providing innovative, flexible and secure communications solutions.

    Using O3b services, U.S. Government customers can take advantage of the field-proven capabilities to support the provisioning of enterprise services to deployed warfighters. The solution leverages the MEO constellation by providing fiber-like connectivity to austere deployed locations.

    “The Department of Defense has vast and expansive information at their fingertips,” said President and CEO of SES Government Solutions, Brigadier General Pete Hoene, USAF (retired). “Utilizing reachback technology gives our warfighters the information and support needed for mission success. By leveraging the O3b MEO constellation, deployed U.S. military personnel have access to near real-time decision-making intelligence at the tactical edge.”

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    About SES Government Solutions

    SES Government Solutions (SES GS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions. SES GS operates under a proxy board allowing them to provide services through contracts with the U.S. Government, including classified work. SES GS is exclusively focused on meeting the satellite communications needs of the U.S. Government. Leveraging more than four decades of experience in the government SATCOM market, SES GS offers robust and secure end-to-end satellite communications solutions. Further information can be found at www.ses-gs.com.

    About SES

    SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 361 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at: www.ses.com.

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/ses-government-solutions-provides-medium-earth-orbit-satellite-services-for-combatant-command-1030435088

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    A 29-year-old crypto billionaire who’s made millions from digital-currency arbitrage shares 2 tips for investors looking to get started in trading- and explains why ether is unlikely to surpass…

    Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and Alameda Research. FTX Sam Bankman-Fried became a billionaire through leveraging a cryptocurrency arb…

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    Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX and Alameda ResearchSam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and Alameda Research.

    FTX

    • Sam Bankman-Fried became a billionaire through leveraging a cryptocurrency arbitrage strategy.
    • Bankman-Fried now runs a leading derivative cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.
    • He shares his tips for crypto trading and his outlook on bitcoin vs. ether.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Sam Bankman-Fried is a cofounder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and a legend in the world of crypto trading.

    His crypto arbitrage strategy netted him 10% daily returns on million-dollar crypto trades, helping him to accumulate a net worth that placed him on Forbes’ list of cryptocurrency billionaires at just 29 years old.

    Although Bankman-Fried’s wealth provides him with more than enough money to retire comfortably on a faraway island, he instead dedicates his time to building the ultimate cryptocurrency exchange for traders.

    His goal is to create an alternative to the “s—show exchanges” that existed when he was trading in 2017 and 2018, Bankman-Fried said in an interview with Insider.

    “We thought the odds are pretty high that we would fail on the exchange because we thought we would just never get any users and that would be that, but it seemed high enough upside that it was worth going for anyway,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Within two years, FTX went from relatively unknown to one of the top five derivative-trading exchanges, with more than $400 billion in monthly trading volume in April.

    FTX changed the trading game by enabling the management of collateral through a single wallet. This meant traders could trade anything on FTX through one margin wallet, as long as they had enough collateral to meet their total position size.

    “It’s one of the rare times that you find a change, which both simplifies the product and makes it more powerful,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Some might assume that, by simplifying the collateralization process, FTX would face more risk when it comes to liquidations, a process that occurs when traders don’t have enough collateral to support their position.

    Yet when a recent flash crash caused a 17% drop in the value of bitcoin and liquidations worth $9.3 billion on April 17, FTX fared better than most.

    The platform is designed to discourage mass liquidations by limiting the size of the positions traders can put on with really high leverage and having an engine that liquidates only as much as it needs to, Bankman-Fried said.

    Total liquidations graph from ByBtTotal liquidations graph from ByBt.

    ByBt

    Crypto trading tips

    There is fierce competition from other traders in the cryptocurrency market, and breaking in is hard, Bankman-Fried said. “It’s not a super forgiving place to try and get into,” he said.

    First, get to know the market by learning from the experts. Bankman-Fried spent several years learning his craft at the trading firm Jane Street.

    Second, try to figure out what edge you have, such as great technology or a good instinct for the direction of the market, he said.

    “I think one of the interesting things is the blurring line between trader and an investor in crypto,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Bankman-Fried’s approach to trading is evolving. He has formed an appreciation for how great crypto investors have been able to operate in different market environments and is spending more time thinking about strategies that set him up well for future cycles, something he said he didn’t have great instincts for previously.

    “Often, a lot of the upside is in the cases where the bull market stays. That’s where you should be focusing a lot of your thoughts because that’s where it matters the most what you do,” Bankman-Fried said. “But with the caveat that you have to make sure that you don’t f— yourself over if there’s a temporary bear market, that you don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t survive that.”

    Bitcoin vs. ether

    The most-traded cryptocurrency is bitcoin, which has a market capitalization near $1 trillion. In recent weeks, the Ethereum blockchain’s native currency, ether, has arguably made its case as a challenger to bitcoin, as the currency has surged more than 100% in price since the start of April with a market capitalization of $450 billion.

    Bitcoin’s 93% gain so far this year has been dwarfed by ether’s 450% increase in that time. The Ethereum network houses a variety of decentralized finance applications, including nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which have been all the rage among artists and celebrities. The multiple uses of the network, plus the fact that its carbon footprint is considerably smaller than that of bitcoin, have burnished ether’s popularity.

    Bankman-Fried said he would be surprised to see ether overtake bitcoin, considering bitcoin has the massive advantage of being the first and agreed-upon default cryptocurrency, which is worth a lot.

    For all its diverse uses, Ethereum has its own issues, such as serious scaling challenges, which are going to hold it back, Bankman-Fried said.

    “It’s hard for me to see ether displacing bitcoin, although I could be wrong there,” he said.

    Sam Bankman-Fried is a cofounder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and a legend in the world of crypto trading.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/crypto-trading-tips-ethereum-outlook-young-billionaire-sam-bankman-fried-2021-5-1030415441

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    Dogecoin plummets during Elon Musk’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting gig as Robinhood experiences issues

    Miley Cyrus was the musical guest on "SNL," while Elon Musk hosted. NBC/Getty Images The value of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin fell dur…

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    Miley Cyrus Elon Musk SNLMiley Cyrus was the musical guest on “SNL,” while Elon Musk hosted.

    NBC/Getty Images

    • The value of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin fell during Elon Musk’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
    • At the same time, Robinhood tweeted that its app was experiencing difficulties with trading.
    • Robinhood declined to comment on whether the difficulty was due to changes in trading during “SNL.”
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Dogecoin’s stock price fell during billionaire Elon Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” on May 9.

    The cryptocurrency, which started as a joke in 2013 but recently gained popularity with Musk’s vocal support, fell to about $0.5 around 12:30 a.m. early Sunday morning, according to Coindesk, but the price steadily picked up as the show went on.

    Musk touted Dogecoin during his appearance on the show’s “Weekend Update” sketch, saying the cryptocurrency would “take over the world” and calling himself the “Dogefather.”

    At the same time, Robinhood, the multi-billion dollar stock trading app, said the platform was experiencing issues with crypto-trading.

    “Update: We’re currently experiencing issues with crypto trading,” Robinhood tweeted during Musk’s performance. “We’re working to resolve this as soon as possible.”

    -Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) May 9, 2021

    Robinhood told Insider that the platform’s crypto-trading was “back up and running” about 30 minutes after it first reported difficulties. Robinhood declined to comment on whether the issues were tied to the “SNL” performance.

    -Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) May 9, 2021

    Dogecoin was originated in 2013 by IBM software engineer Billy Markus and Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer.

    This year, Dogecoin has had more than a 12,000% year-to-date rally, and spiked the week prior to Musk’s hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” The Reddit group Wall Street Bets, which cheered an unlikely rally of GameStop stock earlier this year, has also championed Dogecoin.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/dogecoin-drop-robinhood-down-elon-musk-snl-episode-2021-5-1030405331

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