In a much-anticipated announcement for Square, the industry-leader in mobile payments unveiled its new credit card reader. Boasting its much smaller design, this new reader is also more secure than its predecessor and is much more accurate. This means that you should be able to get a good read from those tattered magnetic strips on the first swipe rather than having to try over and over before divining up and manually typing in the numbers.Furthermore, Square claims the new card reader is compatible with devices that previously would not recognize them through their headphone jack. This is great news for people who use Android phones or tablets because there were several model that wouldn’t accept the reader before; namely tablets with larger than 7 inch screens and the ever-popular Nexus 7 line of tablets. Though the new design doesn’t fix all of the compatibility issues, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
While users of Square Register can get their hands on the new credit card reader via their website, the new version will not be available on store shelves until early 2014. This delay should be long enough to allow the current stock of the old readers to filter through the marketplace. While most users just order them for free from Square itself, having them available at a moment’s notice at your local shops can be a big lifesaver if your business relies on one to swipe cards through your POS system.
The size of the new credit card reader is actually quite an impressive improvement. Much to my surprise, they were actually able to make the dongle about ½ of the size that it was previously. To put this into perspective, this is about as thin as the new iPhone 5S and just slightly thicker than the iPad Air. This was a crucial development since most people use the credit cards readers in conjunction with an iPad for their mobile POS systems, so rivaling the same thickness was vital for most of the stands coming out that are approved for use with an iPad Air POS system.