Merchants, Are You Ready for the Square EMV Card Reader?

Merchants, Are You Ready for the Square EMV Card Reader?

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Square says it’s ready for the nationwide switch to EMV cards next year. Recently, the company said it would soon make available an update to its magnetic strip card readers it introduced several years ago. These readers will be able to process the new EMV cards that should be in millions of consumers’ hands by October 2015.

In addition to the credit card reader that plugs into smartphones and tablets, Square said it will also soon introduce a new reader for its Square Stand point of sale (POS) solution. In the Official Square Blog, the company recently explained:

“It will be just as easy to get your Square Stand ready for next year’s nationwide switch to chip cards (also known as EMV cards). Soon, we’ll offer a chip card-enabled reader that you can plug right into your current stand. The peripheral will be compliant with the new regulations, affordable, and very easy to set up.”

Even after the EMV readers are added, however, small businesses that use Square Stand to process traditional magnet-backed cards will still be able to do so. Square Stand connects to tablets, cash drawers and other devices to provide its basic function as a point-of-sale system.

The company gives an overview of its new EMV reader of its official website.

The company recently told Wired Magazine that the updated Square card reader can be ideal for small businesses. As the switch to EMV cards approaches, small businesses that accept payments via debit and credit card will have to decide how they’ll begin accepting payments from this new card type.

There is no mention in the Square announcement about whether there will be a cost for the updated portable Square EMV card readers used for mobile devices. Currently, Square provides the portable readers free to all users collecting its revenue from a percentage of all sales processed through the card.

EMV is a new credit card reading technology and stands for EuroPay, Mastercard, and Visa.

Rather than reading a magnetic strip from the back of a credit or debit card as it is quickly swiped through, EMV readers  have a slot into which a card is inserted. Customers will be required to use PIN numbers instead of signing credit card receipts. Each credit card is embedded with a tiny microchip. During a transaction, this microchip communicates with the reader.

Square says use of EMV technology could help reduce credit card fraud by up to 50 percent.

See related article: October 2015: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Swipes and Signatures, Hello to PINs.

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