SMEs switch to Square as Tyro outage enters third week


A Square payment terminal. Source: Unsplash/Clay Banks.

A growing number of small businesses are switching to Square payment devices, after being left in limbo amid Tyro’s prolonged terminal outage, which has prevented them from taking card payments.

The outage, which has now reached its third week, has reportedly affected up to 10,000 businesses and has become a setback for retailers and the ASX-listed fintech.

Businesses have taken to social media to express their outrage over the outage, and to encourage other businesses to switch to Square terminals or card readers.

“Still waiting for ours to be picked up. All I can say is thank goodness for Square otherwise our business would probably go bust,” one Facebook user said.

“No pick-up from AMTEK and no contact either. I was unable to find the time to send back the TYRO myself. I have now gone and purchased a Square terminal,” said another.

Kevin Lay, the owner of Bellocale Italian Seafood Restaurant in Cairns, says his terminal went down on January 6 and was then collected by Tyro one week later on January 13.

After two days without any device to take card payments, Lay went to Officeworks and bought a Square reader.

“We got the Square reader for $59 from Officeworks it took a maximum of two hours to set up,” he tells SmartCompany.

Lay says that Tyro has not told him when he will receive his fixed terminal.

“We live in regional Queensland it could be another three more days,” he says.

A spokesperson from Square confirmed the company had seen an increase in customer enquiries over the past couple of weeks.

“We haven’t quantified this, but we are doing our best to support businesses who need an alternative way to start taking card payments,” the spokesperson tells SmartCompany.

According to the spokesperson, businesses can sign up for a Square account online in less than five minutes, and its hardware is available at thousands of retail stores Australia-wide, making it a practical alternative.

Officeworks sells Square terminals for $439 and readers for $59. The terminals provide all-in-one capabilities for taking payments and printing receipts and don’t have any long-term contracts or monthly recurring themes. However, there is a flat fee of 1.6% per transaction.

Tyro has regularly updated its customers online over the last two weeks, and recently highlighted that it is the first time in the company’s 18-year history that an outage like this has occurred.

“We can now confirm that 85% of our merchants have all their terminals functioning again which has increased from 70% from our update last Wednesday,” Tyro said in a service update.


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