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Square Kills Square Order, the Food Pickup App That Was Square Wallet 2.0

Square's obsession with being a consumer business in addition to its focus on serving small businesses appears closer to an end.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Square’s obsession with being a consumer business in addition to its initial focus on small businesses appears closer to an end.

Jack Dorsey’s company, originally known for its payments dongle that let small merchants accept card payments via their phones, said on Friday that it was shutting down Square Order, an app that let consumers pre-order food and coffee for pickup from local businesses.

When Square Order launched in the spring, it was billed as a re-invention of Square Wallet, a mobile app that let customers pay without a credit card or cash in local shops that processed payments using Square. But Square sellers told the company that not enough people were using Square Order to make a difference for their business.

“We are focusing our efforts on other tools and marketing services that help sellers grow their business, like online ordering, gift cards, or delivery with Caviar,” a spokesperson said, referring to the recently acquired food-delivery startup.

The quick hook signals that Square is finally realizing what many former employees and industry veterans have been saying for some time: That Square should be focusing all of its energies on providing services to small businesses and should not get distracted by building things for consumers, too. Square’s core payment processing business is still very strong, and its new Square Capital merchant cash advance business has wildly exceeded the company’s expectations since it launched.

But there are still some signs that Square’s identity crisis isn’t gone completely. The company acquired Caviar in May, and Dorsey has told the staff that building out the service is one of the company’s top priorities for 2015. While Caviar is a service for restaurants to outsource delivery, it is known first and foremost as a consumer business, with customers able to order through Caviar’s website or app. And that consumer side of the business continues to feel pressure from delivery companies such as Door Dash, Munchery, Sprig, Postmates and Grub Hub as they start to expand more rapidly around the U.S.

One other Square product that remains an open question is Square Cash, which lets people send money to each other via the Square Cash app or email. It, too, is a product built for individuals, not businesses, but it seems more core to Square’s original business than Caviar since it is in fact a payments service.

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