Square Outage Disrupts Small Businesses

A view of the Square logo on the back of a credit card reader. | Image by The Image Party/Shutterstock

Small businesses across the nation were left reeling after Square and Cash App, financial services platforms operated by Block, experienced a service outage this week, which disrupted the operations of countless merchants.

“People don’t carry cash anymore, so we had a bunch of people just leave without buying anything,” said Harry Coleman, who owns a bakery and smokehouse in Miami, NBC News reported. “People don’t carry cash and people don’t want to take 10-15 minutes to drive to the ATM.”

Another affected business owner was Adam Blackbill, owner of Urban Churn, a Pennsylvania-based ice cream business.

“Everything we process is through Square, even online,” he told NBC News. “As an ice cream business we’re about to enter our winter season, so every sale matters.”

While Cash App is more typical among peer-to-peer transactions, Square is a financial services app known for its enterprise functionality. Businesses of all sizes use it to process payments, manage transactions, and streamline financial operations. The outage reportedly left many users not only grappling with financial losses but also frustrated by the lack of communication from Square.

Rather than contacting users directly when the outage had become apparent, Square opted to post about the outage on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“We are currently experiencing issues with multiple Square services. We understand how important it is for your business that our services be up and running, and we are actively working toward a fix,” wrote Square on September 7.

The next day, the company posted again:

“Since around noon PT on Thursday, sellers have been unable to access accounts or process payments due to a systems outage within Square. We know you trust us with your business, and these situations add challenges to running your operations. For that, we are truly sorry.”

Square subsequently emailed some users. Nevertheless, the widespread outage was disruptive enough for some business owners to feel that the company is responsible for making things up to its customers.

“We hope they look out for us now and give us some kind of free processing or something,” Coleman said to NBC News.

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