Mobile payments startup Square plans to roll out a new version of its card reader hardware that will enable transactions using credit cards that contain EMV microchip technology.
EMV chips connect with a payment machine to tell the merchant whether the card is counterfeit, so they provide more security than traditional credit cards.
Credit cards with EMV chips are already being used across most of the world, and anyone who’s been to Europe in the last few years will have encountered them. (Last year on a trip to Sweden I had merchants ask me to insert my card rather than swipe it.) American businesses have until 2015 to switch over to payment processing machines that work with EMV, but Square is obviously not waiting around.
Square said the new reader hardware will be smaller and faster than other scanners and will cost less. The new Square reader won’t be free to clients, but the company hasn’t yet released any pricing, according to a New York Times report.
It’ll be interesting to see if Square can get a larger foothold in the payments market by pushing out its EMV-enabled readers before everyone else.