As the U.S. credit card industry prepares for an upcoming switch to new cards with secure EMV chips, popular transaction provider Square is preparing to help retailers through the change, and is now accepting preorders for its new chip card-compatible readers.
Unlike the regular iPhone-compatible Square swipe accessory, which the company has made available for free, the new Square Reader for chip cards costs $29.
Another change: The new Square Reader requires charging. The accessory includes a micro USB port, so that retailers will be able to recharge the device and accept credit cards on the go. Square has said the new $29 reader "features the most powerful battery of its kind."
The reader includes a new slot where merchants can "dip" an EMV-compatible card, leaving it in place for the entire sale. The new secure method replaces the legacy, traditional method of swiping a card, though the new Square Reader also includes a magnetic strip reader for legacy support.
In addition, Square is also taking preorders for a new "Chip Card Accessory" for the Square Stand. The $39 accessory connects to the iPad stand with an included USB hardware hub.
A top-loading slot allows merchants to insert a customer's credit card and securely initiate a transaction. The EMV card reader pairs with the iPad in the stand and its accompanying legacy magnetic stripe reader. The standalone Square Stand sells for $99.
Both the Square Reader for chip cards and the Square Stand Chip Card Accessory are available for preorder now and are scheduled to ship in spring of 2015. That's well ahead of the October 2015 EMV mandate adopted by U.S. payment networks.