When the Square payment system first rolled out a few years ago, I thought it was a good solution for vendors to accept credit card payments on an occasional basis. This is good for smaller businesses who are setting up shop at farmer’s markets and trade shows, for instance. Since then, I’ve seen the popularity of Square spread quickly — at least here in Vancouver — to a growing number of “traditional” brick and mortar stores. I’ve paid for everything from coffee to beer to coffee-flavored beer on a Square reader. And now the company is taking the next logical step.

With many of the existing Square payment solutions that you see, they’re only designed to “swipe” your credit card’s magnetic strip. But the reality of the situation — at least in Canada and growing in the United States — is that we’re doing the tap-to-pay or the chip-and-PIN thing far more often than we are swiping the magnetic strip.

To that end, Square has now announced a new contactless payment and chip reader in Canada. Following the clean and simple industrial design of the rest of the Square family, the new Square reader is a simple white square that connects to the Square Stand.

When you are ready to pay, you can simply tap your compatible credit card on the terminal, just as you would with at any number of other retailers. This should work just fine with tap-enabled MasterCard and Visa credit cards, as well as mobile payments through Apple Pay and Android Pay.

New Square Reader Handles Tap to Pay and Chip Cards


In addition to the added support for tap-based payments, the new Square reader throws in two more highly requested features. You can now use your debit cards too, both chip-enabled and tap-enabled. Chip-and-PIN credit cards are also accepted. The credit card fee for vendors stay at 2.65 percent, while the $0.10 debit fee will be waived until the end of the year.

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