Square's $59 contactless and chip card reader

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Square's $59 contactless and chip card reader

There's now an inexpensive way to accept contactless or chip card payments.

The low-cost Square Reader payment card reader went on sale in Australia earlier this year, but it only works with swipe cards, something that the payments industry had already deprecated.

So now Square is back with the Square Contactless + Chip Reader, which costs just $59.

Like the original Square Reader, the new reader works with mobile phones and tablets running Android or iOS. Instead of plugging into the device's headphone socket, it communicates via Bluetooth.

And it naturally accepts Apple Pay, Android Pay and other contactless payment devices.

“We know NFC [near-field communication] is important to Australian businesses, both for providing fast and secure tap-and-go card payments, and future-proofing for the next wave of payment innovation like Apple Pay and Android Pay,” said Square's country manager for Australia Ben Pfisterer.

If a customer does present a magstripe-only card, don't panic: the original Square Reader comes with the Square Contactless + Chip Reader, so you're covered, though iPhone 7 users will need the Lightning to headphone adaptor that was included with the phone.

The Square Contactless + Chip Reader is available immediately from Square and will soon be stocked by Apple, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Optus, among other retailers.

In addition to the upfront price of the reader, Australian merchants are charged 1.9 percent for American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit card transactions. EFTPOS is not accepted. Funds are normally deposited in the nominated bank account in one or two days.

Use of the Square Register POS system and Square Dashboard analytics app are included at no additional charge.

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