Square Plans New iPad Payment Terminal With Built-In Tap-to-Pay
(Bloomberg) -- Square Inc. is developing an iPad point-of-sale terminal that will let shoppers more easily tap to pay for purchases at participating stores.
The company’s current Square Stand, launched in 2013, features a magnetic stripe reader but requires an external device to handle phone payments or tap-to-pay credit cards. The new version in development integrates the tap-to-pay technology into the terminal itself, making the process more seamless.
Evidence of the upcoming Square Stand is buried deep inside the company’s iPhone and iPad app. The files show drawings of a redesigned device with room to fit an iPad as well as a tap-to-pay sensor on the front, right side. The code also indicates that the new terminal may feature a built-in card chip reader.
Steve Moser, a developer for Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system, discovered the code and images and shared the details with Bloomberg News. Square’s previously reported plans for business checking and savings accounts were also buried in the app. The company declined to comment on unannounced products.
Code referencing the new terminal was added to the app in recent weeks, indicating it remains in active development. It’s not known when the device will be offered to retailers. While Square has issued minor upgrades in the past, this third generation of the terminal will represent the biggest enhancement so far.
Square’s device has become ubiquitous in coffee shops and boutiques, as well as larger retailers. The company has offered multiple versions of the device to fit different sized iPads. Retailers pay a fee each time a consumer swipes, dips or taps their card at checkout of 2.6% of a transaction’s price plus 10 cents.
The current model costs $169, and it’s unclear how Square will charge for its successor. The company also sells kits that add a traditional cash register and receipt printer to the system. Many retailers that use the Square Stand rely on digital receipts and don’t accept cash, however. Square has launched several hardware products in recent years, including a $799 Square Register with its own display instead of an iPad.
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