Square, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of credit card processing technology for mobile devices. The company produces tiny pieces of hardware that fit directly into smartphones and tablets, allowing merchants to process credit card payments without relying on traditional, stationary terminals.
The primary benefit of these mobile-enabled credit card readers is that businesses can accept payments on the go. This is ideal for organizations that frequently interact with customers at conferences or tradeshows or merchants who conduct their business out in the field away from an office or storefront. These portable credit card readers are also perfect for nonprofits conducting offsite fundraisers.
And for retail purchases, mobile credit card readers allow merchants to affordably add more payment locations within the store. The end result is shorter queues, faster transactions and happier customers.
But Square is preparing to launch a new line of mobile readers — one that could revolutionize the payment industry.
EMV-Enabled Mobile Credit Card Readers
With current mobile credit card terminals, merchants physically swipe customers' plastic — just as they would with traditional readers. But Square is introducing new mobile terminals that leverage EMV technology.
What are EMV readers, and why is Square updating its hardware?
Traditional magnetic swipe & sign credit cards are relatively easy to clone. But EMV cards come with embedded chips that are nearly impossible to duplicate. And for in-store purchases, both the card and embedded chip must be physically present at the time of sale.
In order to initiate a transaction, customers insert the security chip into a special EMV-enabled terminal. To complete the purchase, customers must either sign their names (with chip & signature EMV cardss) or enter in a personal identification number (with chip & PIN EMV cards).
Given these extra security features, EMV card technology is already standard in most parts of the world. But adoption in the U.S. has been relatively slow, namely due to cost. Prices for these newer EMV readers range from $100 to $600. When you factor in all American merchants, retailers will have to invest more than $2.6 billion to replace legacy terminals with newer EMV readers.
However, changing liability laws make such expenses justifiable. Starting in October 2015, merchants will have an incentive to upgrade their readers to accept EMV transactions because the card brands are implementing new rules that take away a merchants liability on transactions with EMV enabled terminals.
But Square's mobile EMV readers could be a game-changer.
Rather than buy an expensive, dedicated EMV terminal, merchants can buy Square's hardware add-on for less than $30. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, these newer readers can process an entire day’s worth of transactions on a single charge.
And because these EMV devices leverage the latest in PCI-compliant payment technology, merchants benefit from reduced liability exposure and credit card fraud.
Moreover, Square’s mobile terminals could find a very welcome audience on the other side of the Atlantic. EMV technology is already mandatory in most parts of Europe. But until now, there haven’t been many mobile payment options that accept chip-enabled EMVs.
Is EMV Mobile Credit Card Processing Right for You?
Square's newest product launch isn’t quite here yet (merchants can only pre-order these EMV mobile readers). But once they go live, they'll potentially offer the best of both worlds. You reap the benefits of anytime/anywhere payments while simultaneously protecting your business with the latest in PCI-compliant EMV technology.
To learn more about the many advantages of secure mobile payment processing, click on the free resources below: