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Square Outage Leaves Millions Of Small Businesses Unable To Charge Credit Cards, Manage Inventory

Square POS
Image CreditSquare/YouTube

Popular small business point-of-sale (POS) system Square experienced a massive disruption on Thursday that prevented millions of its customers from conducting business.

An estimated 64 million small businesses use Square to facilitate credit card transactions, pull sales reports, review profit percentages, and manage inventory. A disruption that began midday on Thursday, however, left those customers without the ability to run their businesses effectively unless clients paid cash.

Despite hundreds of people taking to social media to complain about the severe interruption, Square did not acknowledge the issue until Thursday evening.

“We are currently experiencing issues with multiple Square services,” the company wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday at close of business. “We understand how important it is for your business that our services be up and running, and we are actively working toward a fix.”

The POS company did not offer an explanation for the widespread outage nor did it state when engineers expected systems to be up and running again. Square also did not answer any of The Federalist’s questions about the reason for the disruption.

Instead, it directed business owners and The Federalist to a website that offered little to no information about the interruption other than pledging that Square was working to fix it.

As of 11 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, small business owners were still locked out of their Square sign-in portals and business accounts.

“We are actively observing the recovery of all Square systems and will continue to post live updates here. Thanks again for your patience,” an update posted at 4:19 PDT Friday morning stated.

Square isn’t the only transaction company suffering service disruptions. Apple Pay, Venmo, Paypal, Visa, Zelle, and Cash App customers reported issues with their digital transaction apps on Thursday.

Several companies pledged to keep users updated once they found a solution. As of Friday morning, however, it appeared many small businesses and people won’t be able to do digital or card-based transactions going into the weekend. The increasingly cashless economy in the U.S. means some small businesses may be forced to shutter their doors until the issue is resolved because their customers won’t be able to pay digitally.

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