Point of sale player Square made its bones enabling micro-businesses selling short ribs out of food trucks or honey at farmers markers to accept credit card payments. Since then they’ve layered on services to offer a more complete solution to small businesses, and to make themselves more appealing to larger businesses. Everything from invoicing to marketing to payroll.

This week Square made a move that signaled it hasn’t forgotten the micro SMBs that launched the company by making Square Appointments free to solo operators. The idea is to bring more merchants onto the appointments platform, particularly those that are just starting out. At least some of that larger base of merchants using appointments will presumably become paid users as they grow.

Merchants with multiple users are still required to use the paid version.

Square shared some details about how its Appointments product performs for merchants and for Square on its Q4 earnings announcement.

  • Half of appointments booked on the platform are made outside of business hours.
  • Sellers using Appointments saw a 24% year over year increase in bookings.
  • 60% of Appointments users also used another Square product (e.g., Instant Deposits).

The LSA’s Tech Adoption Index measures the use of online booking apps among small businesses.

The most recent wave of the survey,  conducted in November 2017, found 19% of small businesses overall use some kind of online booking software. Among sole proprietors, however, adoption dropped to 13%. Among businesses with 50-99 employees the figure rose to 45%.

Newer businesses were however much more likely to use appointment booking than older business. Among businesses less than a year old, 34% were using scheduling apps, while only 13% of businesses older than 20 years were booking appointments online.