Square slashes chip card reader transaction times

Square slashes chip card reader transaction times

Square has moved to address merchant and consumer frustration with sluggish EMV transactions in the US by slashing the speed of its chip card reader by a quarter. Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey's firm has launched the latest version of its hardware - which accepts contactless payments - in Australia.

A year after America finally began the transition to chip cards, the technology has been widely criticised for how much longer transactions take than with old-fashioned mag-stripe plastic.

Taking advantage of what it calls its "unique position" as a hardware and software firm, Square says that it has reduced the time of transactions with its dongle from 5.7 seconds to 4.2 seconds.

"Consumers and business owners alike loathe waiting for chip cards to process. And we, at Square, feel the same. But it doesn’t have to be this way," says Jesse Dorogusker, hardware lead, Square.

Separately, the company is moving to address a different concern in Australia, launching an NFC reader to satisfy a market where contactless payments are ubiquitous.

The device is for sale directly from Square's site fort $59 with free shipping - compared to the $19 charged for the normal chip reader. Retailers including Apple and Optus will start selling it in store in the near future.

Ben Pfisterer, country manager, Square says: "We know NFC is important to Australian businesses, both for providing fast and secure tap-and-go card payments, and future proofing for the next wave of payment innovation like Apple Pay and Android Pay."

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