US payments technology company Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) has allied with Cuscal, a banking services organization to release Square Reader in Australia. Ben Pfisterer, country manager of Square Australia said the release of Square Reader made sense as Australia has high smartphone and tablet penetration, two million SMBs and a large startup community. He added that the Square Reader’s purpose is to eliminate the complexities for sellers when receiving card payments.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) founder and present CEO is the mastermind of California-based Square. The organization was established by Jim McKelvey and Dorsey seven years ago to transform the existing payment systems. The company claims that it has processed several billion dollars using the card reader.
In Australia, the organization introduced Square Register two years ago before establishing a local presence having customer support last year. Dorsey said that the launch of Square Reader will give local sellers the instruments that they require to begin, operate and grow their enterprises.
The device is a credit as well as debit card reader that lets merchants receive payments on their smartphones and tablets. It plugs into the headphone jack of iOS or Android device. Using the free of cost Register point-of-sale app merchants can receive American Express, Visa and MasterCard credit and debit card payments. Merchants have to pay 1.9% for each transaction.
Xero and Square will partner in Australia too. Small businesses that utilize Xero can link their Square account to the accounting software. This is further from their existing partnership in the US.
As per Square, the reader can be purchased online for AU$ 19 at square.com.au. The device will be available shortly at Apple, Bunnings and Officeworks stores. The Square Reader is specifically designed for businesses such as retail stores, food trucks, photographers, bars, and cafes.
The card reader offers support for the Australian Chip and PIN standard. It also supports conventional magnetic strip transactions. However, Square is still not introducing its NFC-enabled contactless card reader in the country.
While the company’s contactless reader will ultimately be introduced in Australia, for the present Square wants to concentrate locally on its smallest and inexpensive card reader.