It’s hip to be Square
Mobile POS powerhouse, Square has unveiled its plans to launch a Chip and Signature version of it’s iconic payments dongle as the US beings to make the shift across to EMV compliance.
It’s taken a long time to get the US into a position where it needs to make the switch over, and – while Chip and PIN is better, Chip and Signature is the first step along the way to making the US payment system more secure from fraud than ever before.
This means that Square has had to build a new version of its white plastic card dreader, which now has a slot to read EMV chips from instead of swiping a card. This means there’s no PIN pad for the reader, like PayPal and iZettle have done in Europe. Instead customers have to sign their name after the chip has been read to confirm who they are. It’s a bit of a cumbersome step, but as Square have no plans to move into Europe, it’s not really a problem for the payments service.
Square’s hope is that their EMV dongle will win over larger companies who are looking to make the switch with minimal cost. This may be betraying the honest SME roots the startup once had, but money is money in this day and age.
“Square started by empowering anybody to accept credit cards and enabling customers to pay with their name,” said Square founder Jack Dorsey. “Our EMV readers are the next step towards ensuring sellers make every sale.”
We’ll see how popular the new dongle is with consumers and retailers alike, but it’s good to see that there’s at least one service out there looking to make the switch over to EMV as simple as possible for merchants ahead of the October 2015 liability window.