Visa Discloses 10% Stake in Square

Feb. 15, 2016

Visa Discloses 10% Stake in Square Square, which debuted as a public company in November at a price of $9 per share, recently saw its stock price dip below that level. But, on Friday, in a public filing, Visa detailed the size of its stake in the San Francisco mobile-card-acceptance pioneer that had been secret since the card network’s 2011 investment in the then still-private Square. Shares of both companies rose on the news. Visa disclosed to the SEC it owns 9.99 percent of Square’s class A stock, making it the second-largest owner of those shares after Capital Research & Management.

Square originally launched in 2009 with a plug-in dongle that turned any mobile device into a way to accept credit-card payments. It was mainly a card-present technology with the ability to key in a transaction (meaning it could accept card-not-present transactions as well). It since has concentrated mainly on the point of sale, but has dabbled in card-not-present technologies including Square Wallet and Square Order, both of which have been abandoned.