Square gears up for US EMV switch with chip card reader

Square gears up for US EMV switch with chip card reader

Square has unveiled plans to launch a chip and signature version of its mPOS dongle as it prepares for America's upcoming switch to EMV.

The US is finally set to follow much of the rest of the world and migrate to EMV over the next year. Visa and MasterCard have set out a roadmap for the introduction of chip cards, with liability for fraud-related loses switching to retailers that have not upgraded their hardware in October 2015.

In preparation, Square has built a new version of its card reader, which looks much like the current one but has a slot for customers to park their cards in during transactions.

Unlike mPOS firms in Europe, Square has not built a PIN pad into its reader, with customers instead signing to complete transactions. Square has yet to make moves into Europe, sticking to the US, Canada and Japan.

The reader will still accept magstripe cards and has a mini USB port so that it can be charged.

Square, which initially pitched itself to small businesses that do not accept card payments, is hoping that the EMV switch will help it win over larger merchants looking to overhaul their systems.

The company claims that most EMV offerings cost hundreds of dollars and require lengthy contracts, whereas its new chip reader will give sellers an affordable and seamless transition to securely accepting chip card payments.

Jack Dorsey, founder, Square, says: "Square started by empowering anybody to accept credit cards and enabling customers to pay with their name. Our EMV readers are the next step towards ensuring sellers make every sale."

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