Today Square is rolling out its chip card and contactless payments reader to 100 small businesses around the U.S.
The device was first announced during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference over the summer. At the event, Square promised to give the reader to 250,000 small businesses for free. The contactless payments device retails for $49 and accepts Android Pay, Apple Pay, and other near-field communication based payments.
— Square (@Square) June 8, 2015
The announcement comes just a week after Square’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
The payments space has changed a lot since Square first launched its iconic credit card-reading device for mobile phones. Early competitors like First Data and PayPal have caught up to Square’s innovation, and now there are more companies than ever fighting for a piece of the payments space.
Though Square and Apple teamed up for this particular launch, they may become adversaries in the long run. A few weeks ago, a report surfaced indicating that Apple may be working on a peer-to-peer payment app. Square already has a peer-to-peer app called Cash, which it’s trying to expand by incorporating merchants into the platform.
But a peer-to-peer payment app may just be the beginning for Apple. It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple had even bigger plans for enabling commerce, considering the popularity of iPad point-of-sale systems. A deep dive into commerce might even reinvigorate iPad sales.