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Square announces EMV reader

By Jeanine Skowronski · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Posted: 3 pm ET

Square is jumping aboard the EMV train.

The startup announced Wednesday that it will launch a new version of its credit card reader for EMV cards.

Square's EMV card reader

Square's EMV credit card reader is in line with changing fraud liability laws.

Europay, MasterCard and Visa chips, as you may have heard, make credit and debit cards less susceptible to counterfeiting since, unlike with a traditional magnetic stripe, the chip's security code changes with every purchase.

The technology, already prevalent overseas, has yet to proliferate in the U.S. That, however, is expected to change soon. New network rules shifting fraud liability to whichever party (merchant or issuer) is sporting outdated technology and, therefore, prohibiting the safer transaction, are set to go into effect in October 2015. Until then, financial institutions will largely continue to eat the cost of card fraud.

Square is pitching the imminent product as an affordable way for its merchant customers to upgrade their systems.

"Square is committed to building business tools that are accessible and affordable to everyone," says Catherine Ferdon, a spokeswoman for Square. "We'll have exact pricing details to share soon."

The company also says the reader will help its clients to combat card fraud, protect sensitive data and enable the acceptance of all payment methods.

"Customers expect to pay however they want; cashiers should never have to say 'We don't accept that'," said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, in a press release.

The new reader, which externally resembles its old one, will work with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Merchants will be able to pre-order the device later this year; it will ship to U.S. retailers in early 2015.

Follow me on Twitter: @JeanineSko.

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