Jack Dorsey addresses a University of Waterloo audience (Image: Meghan Kreller, Communitech)

The co-founder of Twitter and Square visited Waterloo, Ont. and Toronto today and announced he’s opening up a permanent office in the Waterloo region.

Jack Dorsey delivered the news as part of a speech at the University of Waterloo on Thursday. He said the new Square office, the first in Canada, will open up next year. It will employ about 30 engineers and designers from the area. A stealth office has apparently been operating in Kitchener, Ont. since the spring and is now ready to expand.

Square is a mobile payments solution that offers a dongle that reads credit cards. It plugs into an Android device, iPhone or iPad and works with an accompanying app to process payments. The solution is intended as a low cost POS for merchants who wouldn’t otherwise be able to accept credit card payments. Square launched in San Francisco in 2009, but didn’t expand into Canada until October last year. Canada is the firm’s first international destination.

There is no shortage of competitors to Square. Alternatives include Vancouver-based Payfirma, Moneris eSelect Plus, PayPal Here, and Intuit GoPayment.

To entrench his new-found Canadian identity, Dorsey accepted a Team Canada hockey jersey as a gift during his Toronto appearance at Accelerator TO.