Contactless and cashless payments have been rising globally following COVID-19 lockdowns, with services like Apple Pay and contactless credit card readers replacing real cash as people look for ways to avoid touching things in public. With these rising sentiments, mobile payment and financial services company Square is seeing a huge boost in stock performance since the beginning of the year.
According to Bloomberg, the public market capitalization of Square has risen from a low of under $20 billion in April to pushing past $54 billion at the beginning of July – a $30 billion gain in just three months.
At its current valuation, it puts the company closer to the ranks of large U.S. banks. Goldman Sachs, with a current valuation of $74 billion, is just $20 billion ahead of Square. Larger competitors, like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are still far ahead but could be within distance if Square continues to capitalize on the new digital payment environment.
The cashless movement was already steadily rising across the world at the start of 2020, with credit cards, mobile apps and other methods of digital payment slowly gaining ground over traditional cash payments. The COVID-19 pandemic could spell the beginning of the end for local economies dominated by cash, as more and more small businesses are now turning to companies like Square to offer easy-to-use technologies to accept digital payments.