Square, the payment solution that allows merchants to accept debit and credit cards right from a mobile device, has just announced its newest product. The announcement came from Square founder Jack Dorsey on Twitter when the CEO shared a link to Square Reader.
Square Reader will allow merchants to accept payments from contactless payment systems like Apple Pay as well as EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip cards.
Reader is a bit of a departure from Square’s usual hardware. Instead of a small white device that plugs into your smartphone, Reader sits on a desk or counter. The pocket sized device comes in at just under 2 ounces and wirelessly connects to iOS and Android mobile devices.
So any merchant with an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet can use Reader without bulky hardware or annoying cords. This is a step up from Square’s current chip card reader that has to be plugged into a mobile device and does not accept contactless payments.
The company claims Reader can be set up in seconds and works with the free Square app so merchants can manage payments, tipping, inventory, and more. Once set up, customers can pay either by holding a contactless payment-enabled smartphone over the device or “dipping” (inserting) an EMV chip card.
Unfortunately Reader does not accept magstripe cards. To combat this the company is including a classic Square device in the box with Reader. Square claims that merchants can use both devices simultaneously from the same smartphone or tablet. Still, it would be nicer to be able to just have one device that could do it all.
For a limited time, merchants can reserve their own free Reader. Square says that the free offer is only available to business’ that fall within specific categories that exceed estimated or actual minimum processing volume requirements.
For everyone else who does not meet the requirements for a free Square Reader, you can still pre-order one for $49. Square Reader is set to come to market sometime in the fall of this year.