Changing how the world buys
MoneyConf Published on Jun 22, 2018

Square CFO Sarah Friar forecasts the future shape of finance.
There are a few mega trends, as Square’s chief financial officer Sarah Friar calls them, rippling through the financial industry: Executives are wondering if and when Amazon will take aim at their industry; banks are closing branches; and money is increasingly being passed around electronically.

Friar has spent her career in the crosscurrents of finance and technology, and these days she’s also on the boards of Walmart and messaging platform Slack. The Northern Ireland native started out at McKinsey before becoming a software analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she worked for more than 10 years. She left the investment bank for, before she was hired as finance chief at Square in 2012.

Square was originally known for its payment dongle and, perhaps, its founder Jack Dorsey (who co-founded Twitter and runs it alongside Square). It has widened its offerings to things like Square Capital, which lent out $339 million (pdf) in the first three months of 2018. Bitcoin trading, now available on its Venmo-like Cash App, has added some sizzle. Square’s market cap has just about tripled in the past 12 months.

Quartz spoke with Friar at the company’s offices in Dublin about bitcoin, finance, technology, and software, which venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously said will gobble up everything. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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