Square Unveils New Contactless Payment Reader

Square chief executive Jack Dorsey hopes cafes will be among the users of the company's new contactless card reader

Mobile payments company Square has released its contactless and chip card reader in Australia.

The new contactless + chip card reader could prove useful to the SMB payments landscape, as we are one of the biggest users of contactless payments in the world, with 60 to 70 percent of Visa or Mastercard payments done this way.

Australian consumers are getting more comfortable with using their smartphones to make payments but businesses are slow to adapt in this department. Even existing businesses that do support card payments may not have a terminal that support near-field communication (NFC) technology used by smartphone payment systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. Square says it's seen the number of cards with chips processed via Square in the US jump from 40 percent a year ago, to 75 percent today, meaning it's essentially reaching saturation.

"We're committed to bringing Australian business owners the best in payment innovation - whether it's with our newest contactless and chip card reader, our original mobile chip card reader, or our online invoicing software Square Invoices".

The service is compatible with Apple Pay and Android Pay, chip cards and tap-and-go cards. According to Square, this provides more flexibility for businesses to accept payments on the go, or at a countertop.

On average, transaction speeds for chip and card readers can be anywhere from eight to 13 seconds, added the company. Retailers including Apple and Optus will start selling it in store in the near future.



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