Square's announcement today that the new card reader, which all merchants will be required to use by October 15, 2015, will cost $29.95 is especially disappointing in that the the reader will be obsolete on the day it is shipped.

Square has continued on its spectacularly unsuccessful strategy of being the outlier. The now no longer free reader will support EMV, the European Master Card-Visa standard which Visa announced its plans to implement in 2010. It will not support NFC, the contactless standard which allows for totally secure transactions with no chance of hacking of data. 

All of Square's competitors have announced that upgrades to their payment terminals will be available to their merchants at no charge. We have 11 months to go shopping and find another alternative to what was, at one time, a spectacular product. "How the mighty have fallen"

You need to be a member of Art Fair Insiders to add comments!

Join Art Fair Insiders

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • I don't mind paying the $29.95, especially if they don't raise the % rate! It has done well for me and sure beats the heck out of the old wireless terminals. The new cards will be an interesting transition.

    • To say the new EMV reader will be obsolete on the day of issue is not only a bit of an exaggeration, it is absolutely false. The EMV readers are the worldwide standard, and everyone using a card in the U.S. will soon be using these.

      As others have pointed out, there are conflicting NFC systems in development and the big companies are still fighting it out, and one is likely to end up being the Betamax of NFC systems. Despite its security advantages, even after a system wins out it will be many, many years before an NFC based payment system is anywhere near as universal as (soon to be chipped) credit cards.

      The original posters clearly have some kind of beef with Square. 

      • Square is the only card reader that will not be upgraded to NFC and EMV for no charge. If that is not obsolete, I do not understand the definition.

      • I agree. It will take many, many years before your average person stops using the actual card for a transaction.

        I come up with scenarios like someone having all their credit cards in their phone or whatever it will be called, they see something they need badly, go to use the phone for the purchase... and the battery's dead. Will we have to make sure our phone is fully charged so we can buy food in the future?

        What happens if I drop the phone and it breaks? How do I buy something?

        • What happens now if you lose your wallet, leave it in your other pants, or someone steals your card? You cannot expect the merchant to take your word that you have a payment card. What happens when you lose your car keys? You do not expect your car to recognise your voice. We have products we have come to depend on, and we form habits to have them with us, or suffer the consequences of having to make some other arrangements.

        • I wouldn't surprised if some hacker came up with a way to steal the info off of the phones by just being near enough to it. Anytime there is any technology improvement there will be someone working hard to defeat it. That just seems to be the normal these days.

          • They already do this at gas stations.  So I can see your point.

          • The key to the success of Apple Pay is that there is no data to steal. Apple put a proprietary, patented chip into the iphone 6's and the new ipad which encodes the data when the card number is entered. It cannot be stolen while in transit to the merchant, it cannot be stolen in transit from the merchant to the bank, and Apple never has it. The encryption is so good the both the CIA and the FBI want it outlawed.

            This will be the new normal.

            • "...This will be the new normal..."

              Yeah, in about 10 years. Especially in the country. Especially with the older people. But by then something better will have come along.

              But doesn't that mean everyone will have to have an Apple device? What if you just cannot afford one? Or think they're overpriced? Too bad, so sad, sucks to be you?

              I'm beginning to think you've been a victim of identity theft.

  • I recently heard that Apple will be charging a 30% fee to merchants using the new Apple Pay system. Does anyone know if that is true? It seems outrageous to me, but then Apple has never been shy about what they charge for products and services.

This reply was deleted.