Mobile payments company Square has released its contactless and chip card reader in Australia. The reader is aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs) and comes at a time when smartphone payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are still quite new to the country. Here are the details.
Australian consumers are getting more comfortable with using their smartphones to make payments but businesses are slow to adapt in this department. There are still plenty of small businesses around the country that are cash-only to avoid the complexity and cost of having an electronic payments terminal. Even existing businesses that do support card payments may not have a terminal that support near-field communication (NFC) technology used by smartphone payment systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Square is hoping to make it easier for SMBs to accept chip-based credit card and NFC mobile payments through its new reader. Australia is the second market outside of the US to get the device.The compact reader uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to communicate with credit cards and NFC smartphones for tap-and-go payments. It can also accept payments that require chip-based credit cards to be inserted.
"We know NFC is important to Australian businesses, both for providing fast and secure tap-and-go card payments, and future proofing for the next wave of payment innovation like Apple Pay and Android Pay," Square Australian country manager Ben Pfisterer said. "We’re delivering it in the most accessible, affordable and mobile way, available anywhere in Australia."
The new Square reader costs $59 and the company takes a 1.9% cut from every transaction made on the device. The reader will be available through Officeworks, Apple, Optus and Harvey Norman retails stores around the country.