Square launches Appointments, an online scheduling tool for SMBs

Summary:The effort is the company's latest move to lure small business customers and expand beyond the payments space.

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Square announced Monday the release of the online scheduling service Appointments.

The service targets small businesses using Square Register, but the San Francisco-based company said the booking tool is available to non-Register customers as well.

The move is the latest in Square's recent push to expand beyond the payments space to become an all-in-one provider of SMB tools – a move seen by many as critical if the once revolutionary startup plans to hold on to its $5 billion valuation and maintain its edge in the increasingly competitive market. 

Square said it piloted Appointments in a range of business segments – "from math tutors to beauty salons" – with 144 out of 200 businesses generating additional revenue from the service.

By opening the service to non-customers, Square is likely looking to take on similar booking tools such as Schedulicity or Genbook, although the fee for Appointments is slightly higher than the competition's.

Square plans to charge Appointments users $30 a month for individual sellers, $50 for business owners with two to five employees, and $90 for unlimited staff. For comparison, Genbook charges $20 or individual sellers, $40 for busineses with two to five employees, and $70 for six or more employees.  

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Topics: SMBs, E-Commerce

About

Natalie Gagliordi is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in Louisville, Kentucky, covering business technology for ZDNet. She previously worked as the editor of Kiosk Marketplace, an online B2B trade publication that focused on interactive self-service technology, while also contributing to additional websites that covered retail tec... Full Bio

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