Square’s EMV Strategy

Square will not require retailers to buy a new version of its Square Stand point-of-sale hardware for next year’s U.S. transition to supporting EMV “chip and PIN” cards, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday (Aug. 20).

Instead, a countertop version of the EMV reader that Square announced last month will plug into the existing stand through the USB port. Mag-stripe cards will still be processed using the stand itself.

Square hasn’t released price, availability date or much other information about its forthcoming EMV card readers except to say that they will be “compliant with the new regulations, affordable, and very easy to set up.”

According to Visa, MasterCard and other payment card brands, in October 2015 the liability for card fraud will shift to whichever entity — retailer, card processor or card-issuing bank — has failed to upgrade so that they can support EMV cards. For example, if a retailer’s point of sale system supports accepting EMV cards but a bank hasn’t issued a customer’s card to EMV, then the back pays for a fraudulent transaction.

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