Square on Wednesday started taking pre-orders for a new version of its Reader and an accessory for Square Stand that will allow its mobile payments service to accept new chip-embedded cards being issued in the U.S. next year.
The transition to EMV – named after its creators [company]EuroPay[/company], [company]MasterCard[/company] and [company]Visa[/company] – is a long time coming in the U.S. Many other countries have already adopted these more secure transactions that verify a card from a dynamic chip instead of pulling numbers from a static magnetic stripe. But starting next fall, merchants will either have to start accepting chip-and-PIN transactions or assume all liability for fraudulent purchases. Square merchants are no exception.
Square will start shipping the new gadgets in spring of 2015, well ahead of the looming EMV deadline, but there is a slight cost to upgrade. The new EMV Reader costs $29 instead of $10, and Square mentioned nothing about refunding that purchase price through a merchant’s transactions as it does with the current generation Reader. The Stand accessory costs $39, but thankfully it doesn’t actually require a merchant to upgrade the entire Stand countertop system, which normally costs $300.