Amid the headlines surrounding mobile POS player Square’s (rumored) impending IPO and the ultimate fate of Jack Dorsey as its leader, there’s also new near-field communications technology on the horizon.
Mobile POS provider Square will begin shipping its EMV and contactless chip card reader in December 2015, according to NFC World+. “If you preorder a contactless and chip card reader, Square’s Liability Shift Protection is available to you for free, from the moment you preorder until your reader arrives,” Square said on its site. As has been reported widely across a variety of media, the liability shift in the United States is coming this week on Oct. 1 as the payments industry goes live with EMV. Yet an alarming number of merchants are not necessarily ready for the liability shift. And neither, states the industry data, are consumers themselves.
The Square NFC launch is, of course, not unanticipated, as Square had teased the terminals with demos at the Apple WWDC event in June of this year. The first 250,000 terminals have been offered up sans charge, or there is also an option for a $49 free processing credit, “depending on eligibility.” The readers themselves are configured to accept both Apple Pay and chip cards.
Under the terms of the ongoing promotion, the company has said, the fee structure starts at 2.75 percent per “swipe, dip or tap” for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express payments, according to the Square site, and spans both Android and iOS. The movement toward NFC represents a progression for Square since the acquisition this past spring of payments processing company Kili Technology. Kili late last year had announced its mPOS-on-a-chip solution, which accepts virtually all payment modes, from NFC to EMV to the conventional mag stripe technology.
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