Square’s new pocket-sized point-of-sale wireless reader was announced yesterday at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). But the new Square reader is far more than a means to accept payments via Apple Pay. The reader will enable merchants to accept customer payments using these options:
Near Field Communications: Utilizing NFC technology, customers will be able to hold their iPhone, Apple Watch or other devices near the reader to pay via Apple Pay and other near-field communication (NFC) payment options.
Chip Cards: The new readers will accept “chip embedded” cards that use the EMV standard for a higher degree of security over traditional magnetic strip cards. (EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the companies that created the standard.)
Swipe: A traditional Square magstripe reader is included in the box containing a new reader. Both readers can be connected to a device (iPhone, iPad, Android) simultaneously, so a merchant can keep swiping conventional magnetic stripe cards as long as customers use them.
Square is joining other payment processing and ecommerce vendors that are rolling out various point-of-sale devices and approaches that support NFC and chip card payments, including Apple Pay.
One advantage Square has, however, is that their new reader is designed to connect with its “Square Stands” that are already installed in tens of thousands of small businesses. And like its initial iconic square-shaped reader, the new wireless reader has a small, simple, sleek, minimalist look while enabling a full array of payment options. Another plus: The readers work with Square’s existing, free point-of-sale app.
Square’s promotional video announcing its new wireless reader.
Square is offering 250,000 of the new readers free to small retailers (one per retailer). The new reader is also available for pre-order in the U.S. for $49 (with a $49 card processing credit).