Square to release chip card reader with $29 price tag

Square to release chip card reader with $29 price tag

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.

Comments: (6)

Steve Almond
Steve Almond - VioPay - Blackburn, Lancashire 13 November, 2014, 11:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes So...I then hand my iPhone 6 to a stranger and he or she will be happy to enter their PIN into my phone?
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 November, 2014, 12:33Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@SteveA:

"Square’s new chip reader ... works with iPhone, iPad, ..."

While iPhone6 might lend a certain degree of coolness to the transaction, s/he will be happy to enter their PIN even into older models of your iPhone & iPad:)

Sreeram Yegappan
Sreeram Yegappan - Cognizant - London 13 November, 2014, 12:571 like 1 like

this is where the likes of iZettle might have a differentiator as the PIN is entered on the device and not on the phone.. Possibly Square has compromised on the 'perceived security' for the size of the device ?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 November, 2014, 14:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The original campaign gave the readers away free. 

Bruce Shirey
Bruce Shirey - The Rinaldi Group - San Diego 13 November, 2014, 15:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Initially in the US, it will be chip and signature, not chip and pin... at $29 retail for a card reader for mobile (phone or tablet) is very aggressive and a competitive price point.  Congrat's to Square...

Bruce Shirey
Bruce Shirey - The Rinaldi Group - San Diego 13 November, 2014, 15:581 like 1 like

Another tech perspective, bluetooth EMV devices with MSR and NFC will be a game changer... less compatibility issues to contend with.

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