A new report from Re/code reveals both Apple and Google have recently considered buying Square in an effort to launch their own mobile payments platforms, though it’s unclear if the company will accept a buyout or remain independent and pursue an IPO of its own. For now, however, a Google acquisition is apparently the most likely possibility.
Google already offers its own mobile payment service with Google Wallet, but the platform has struggled to catch on. Buying Square, a well known brand for both business owners and consumers could help attract more users to Google Wallet. According to Re/code‘s sources however, Square founder Jack Dorsey is less interested in a Google offer, and thinks his credit card reader design would fit nicely into Apple’s product line.
Unfortunately for Dorsey, Apple has apparently “soured” on the possibility of making an offer for Square. The company would reportedly go for around $8 billion, which doesn’t match up with Cupertino’s strategy of buying smaller companies for under $1 billion and incorporating the technology into its own products. Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed interest in mobile payments, though this could be accomplished without Square’s help by using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor introduced with the iPhone 5s.
For now, Square may be forced to go it alone, either seeking out private funding or pushing forward with plans for a public offering. That’s not necessarily bad news for Dorsey and the rest of the company, which is quickly expanding in multiple directions. Square recently introduced Square Pickup for ordering directly from restaurants as well as Square Cash for easily sending payments between phone contacts.