EMV credit card technology is being rolled out in the U.S, and Square wants in by developing their own EMV card reader.
The Square Reader will look like the pocket-sized one the San Francisco based company already offers customers, but it’s equipped with new technology allowing it to read both EMV chips and magnetic strips.
The device will be compatible with iPhones and iPads, as well as Android devices. While the magnetic strip version of the reader is free, the new version will cost merchants, but there is no word on how much yet.
The only change for consumers will be that rather than swiping their cards they will have to dip and leave them there for a few minutes so the card can communicate with the reader. They then sign for their purchase on the smartphone or iPad screen.
Square has also set up a website to give merchants information about the new device and EMV technology. Customers will be able to pre-order it later this year.
EMV tech – the new kid on the block
EMV was developed by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, and is now commonly used in Europe. The U.S is the last major market to adopt this technology, with last year’s security breaches prompting the acceleration of the roll-out of the new technology.
EMV uses small computer chips that are embedded into credit cards. The chips have a unique impression, which is hard for hackers to duplicate.
When dipped into readers the chips actually communicate with payment processors to verify that the card is authentic. Offering consumers and sellers several additional layers of security when it comes to preventing fraud and credit card hacking.
Square is an e-commerce business, founded in 2009, which provides customers with mobile credit card readers that can be used on smartphones or iPads, allowing merchants to take payments on the go. They also provide additional services, ranging from small business financing to inventory and sales tracking. Their products are available in the U.S., as well as Japan and Canada.