While Apple Pay can be used at hundreds of thousands of locations across the United States, and soon the U.K., those who do accept Apple’s payments system is usually limited to large retailers, such as Walgreens, Trader Joe’s, Meijer, and others. But now mobile payments processor Square is working to bring the convenience of Apple Pay to smaller “mom and pop” stores.
Square’s new Apple Pay reader will do with contactless payments what its original reader did with traditional credit and debit cards: make it easy and cheap for small businesses to accept any way you want to pay and kill the phrase “cash only.”
Square partnered with the San Francisco-based Blue Bottle coffee shop chain to try out the new Apple Pay-compatible reader – which was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month – and the trial has received positive reviews.
Macworld reports that it is a cinch to use, and the new Square reader works just as seamlessly as any other NFC reader. The sales associate rings up your purchase, and a green light flashes on the reader, indicating that it’s ready for your payment via Apple Pay. Tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the reader, and you’re done.
The small, flat, white box may be almost too inconspicuous for first-time users, but Blue Bottle baristas report that once they point it out to customers, everything proceeds smoothly from there on. (It should be noted that the new reader isn’t Apple Pay-only, and Android devices equipped with NFC, as well as physical chipped credit and debit cards also work with the system.)
Square’s new reader opens up Apple Pay to small businesses that normally wouldn’t be have accepted the payments system, and it’s also beneficial to those businesses, as they are required to support EMV chip cards by October 1, otherwise liability for card fraud falls onto them.
The new Square reader is $49, which includes a $49 card processing credit. The first 250,000 businesses to pre-order the new reader get it for free when it ships this fall. For more information about the reader, visit the Square website.