A new NFC reader from Square will allow vendors to accept payments from mobile payment systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google’s Android Pay as well as updated credit cards with EMV chips.
The new NFC reader includes both a slot to process EMV card payments and a tap pad on the top to process transactions from mobile payment systems. The new device does not accept magnetic stripe payments itself, but does come with Square’s magstripe reader to facilitate the ability to accept all payment types.
Like its predecessor, the new pocket-sized NFC reader works with the Square app to accept payments, but rather than being a plug-in attachment the new square connects to vendor’s device wirelessly.
For vendors, the NFC reader is compatible with Apple devices running the latest version of iOS, including the iPhone 4s and up, iPad third generation and up and iPod touch fifth generation, and Android devices running Android 4.4 or higher. Windows devices are not supported by Square.
The move comes just behind a shift in credit card standards meant to boost card security that went into effect October 1. As a result, vendors who swipe a card’s magstripe rather than scanning its chip will now find themselves liable for instances of fraud.
The release of Square’s NFC reader also comes as mobile payment systems are fighting to gain a foothold in the hearts of American consumers. The expansion of the NFC technology in Square’s new reader may prove to be a boon for the likes of Apple Pay and other NFC-only mobile payment systems, which previously found themselves at a disadvantage compared to Samsung Pay’s flexible NFC-magstripe combination.
Though Apple Pay adoption remained low after its first year – accounting for just one percent of retail transactions in the United States – Samsung said its mobile payment system had seen consistent repeat usage and “strong” interest among American consumers one month after launch.
While Apple is reportedly looking into adding a person-to-person payment element to its system, Samsung has announced that it will soon be adding the ability to pay with gift cards at retail locations.
Square’s new NFC reader costs $49. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for the device and has said it expects to begin shipping the devices later this fall.