Digital payments company Square has launched a new contactless POS reader. A plug-and-play solution, the device is compatible with EMV (or “chip and PIN”) cards and mPayment platforms like Apple Pay.
It’s making its US launch with a hundred small businesses, including Chicago’s Butter Fried Chicken, NYC’s Cafe Grumpy, and Philz Coffee in San Francisco. The small, square-shaped reader can be connected to a smartphone or tablet, or to Square’s own Square Stand POS hardware; and it’s compatible with the company’s free POS app.
It’s a major launch for the company, which just went public on November 19th. Square appears to be aiming for a slice of the digital payments space, where it’s going to have to compete against the likes of PayPal, a bigger company with perhaps more ambitious aims and a major market presence in POS transactions. PayPal recently launched its own similar POS reader in the US, priced at $149 but offering a $100 rebate for businesses able to process $3,000 in transactions with it in the first few months. It’s tough competition, but Square’s reader is competitively priced at $49 strings-free.