Square has announced plans for a new chip card reader that will retail with a $29 price tag and replace its current free-of-charge mag-strip-only dongle.
Square’s new chip reader, available later this year for pre-order, is small enough to fit in a pocket and works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It also comes with a table-top version for the Stand POS terminal, as US retailers gear up to begin accepting EMV chip cards in October 2015.
The $29 price tag is a departure for Square, which has previously distributed its mag-stripe dongles free of charge. The new source of revenue will be welcomed by the company which has struggled to generate creditable income from wafer-thin transaction processing margins.
With an EMV reader in its armoury, the company will also be able to invade other territories where chip cards are standard and taken on the likes of European mPOS vendors such as iZettle, which currently charges £49 for its device.