Square adds Lightning connector to free credit card reader

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2018
Square has updated their free magstripe card reader with a Lightning connector to finally work on the latest iPhone's without using an adapter. Now both a Lightning and 3.5mm audio jack version are available to merchants.

Square Lightning Card Reader


After Apple abandoned the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, more people were affected than just those looking to listen to music.

Merchants everywhere that relied on Square's diminutive card reader were forced to use Apple's included 3.5mm audio jack to Lightning adapter that shipped with the iPhone 7 and later.

Square Lightning Card Reader


Square has now updated this popular reader, which is available to free to merchants, with a Lightning tip rather than the 3.5mm audio tip. Now they can connect to their iPhone or iPad directly to the Lightning port, with or without a case.

That still raises some issues, for instance a splitter of sorts will still be required if a merchant wants to charge their phone at the same time. Wireless charging could be the easiest option if used with an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X.

Square Lightning Card Reader


In related news, Square also announced that the 3.5mm audio jack version will also work when connected to a Mac or Chromebook running Square's virtual terminal.

Square aims to make it easy for almost anyone to accept card payments right from their iOS or Android device. It is also useful for smaller merchants who want credit card processing without paying a subscription fee, as Square charges a flat fee of 2.75 percent for each swipe.

A Bluetooth chip and contactless payment reader is also available that supports Apple Pay, but it costs users $49 to own.

Merchants can register for their free reader directly from Square's website.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 363member
    Where you able to use the lightning dongle to use on reader with 3.5mm jack?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,104administrator
    gutengel said:
    Where you able to use the lightning dongle to use on reader with 3.5mm jack?
    Yes.
    icoco3watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    I have been using the dongle method.  It looks like the Lightning connector will extend beyond a case so that is a bonus....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,151member
    "That still raises some issues, for instance a splitter of sorts will still be required if a merchant wants to charge their phone at the same time."

    No, it doesn't, because that is a stupid use case. As a one-time 
    merchant myself, I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to unplug my phone if I needed to ring up a sale. It's not even a concern in the slightest.

    That being said, the wireless version is better, as it allows the use of tap-to-pay.
    edited August 2018 icoco3Solipscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    icoco3 said:
    I have been using the dongle method.  It looks like the Lightning connector will extend beyond a case so that is a bonus....
    Not so much a "bonus" as simply a competent design.

    icoco3watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 439member, editor
    "That still raises some issues, for instance a splitter of sorts will still be required if a merchant wants to charge their phone at the same time."

    No, it doesn't, because that is a stupid use case. As a one-time merchant myself, I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to unplug my phone if I needed to ring up a sale. It's not even a concern in the slightest.

    That being said, the wireless version is better, as it allows the use of tap-to-pay.
    Yes it is, I’ve worked running booths at carnivals and fairs and used Square readers for all my payments. We’d have the phone plugged into power all day with a line of people there. Makes no sense to continuously plug and unplug power to swap for the adapter, especially when busy. Some may not have it be an issue, but losing the power port is definitely a downside for some wanting to charge at the same time as taking payments.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,029member
    Not having a USB-C option despite there being many more Android phone models without a 3.5mm jack on the market tells me the number of units must be too small to address at this time.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 295member
    "Bluetooth chip and contactless payment reader is also available that supports Apple Pay, but it costs users $49 to own." 

    It also absolves the vendor of liability in the case of credit card fraud.  When using the stripe reader, the vendor will have to pony up to cover any fraud, instead of the bank.  It's a really good, cheap insurance policy to go chip/contactless. 
    Solistompywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    "That still raises some issues, for instance a splitter of sorts will still be required if a merchant wants to charge their phone at the same time."

    No, it doesn't, because that is a stupid use case. As a one-time merchant myself, I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to unplug my phone if I needed to ring up a sale. It's not even a concern in the slightest.

    That being said, the wireless version is better, as it allows the use of tap-to-pay.
    Yes it is, I’ve worked running booths at carnivals and fairs and used Square readers for all my payments. We’d have the phone plugged into power all day with a line of people there. Makes no sense to continuously plug and unplug power to swap for the adapter, especially when busy. Some may not have it be an issue, but losing the power port is definitely a downside for some wanting to charge at the same time as taking payments.
    Then get the wireless one. If you're busy enough that you can't afford to unplug here and there, you can afford $49.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,151member
    "That still raises some issues, for instance a splitter of sorts will still be required if a merchant wants to charge their phone at the same time."

    No, it doesn't, because that is a stupid use case. As a one-time merchant myself, I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to unplug my phone if I needed to ring up a sale. It's not even a concern in the slightest.

    That being said, the wireless version is better, as it allows the use of tap-to-pay.
    Yes it is, I’ve worked running booths at carnivals and fairs and used Square readers for all my payments. We’d have the phone plugged into power all day with a line of people there. Makes no sense to continuously plug and unplug power to swap for the adapter, especially when busy. Some may not have it be an issue, but losing the power port is definitely a downside for some wanting to charge at the same time as taking payments.
    If your phone is charged it doesn’t need to be remain charging in order to ring up your customers. I too have sold in markerts and it simply never happened that we were ringing up sales 100% of the time of every hour for 8+ hours straight. (If you are, you need to get out of markets and sell your amazing product in stores everywhere, sounds like a massive hit on your hands.)

    But again the wireless Square device is even better. 
    edited August 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    The $49 up front for contactless will pay for itself in the event you have to file chargebacks due to fraudulent disputes. Honestly any merchant using this free hardware either is ignorant to the incredibly rapid fraud growth or is simply being a cheap skate. 
    bonobobpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    croprcropr Posts: 1,040member
    Launching a new magstripe reader in 2018?  The US is really retarded wrt payments systems.  The civilized world stopped using magstripe cards in the last century
    watto_cobratokyojimu
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Just in time for Apple to move to USB-C or some other brand new, proprietary connector.  How many of you deal with lint causing the lightning port to become unreliable? Even when clean, I find it less reliable than the old port was. 

    With the focus a few years ago to require phone manufacturers to support USB-based charging to reduce the proliferation of proprietary chargers in landfills, I'd like to see the industry standardize on the charging / AV port.  USB-C as a connector pin out, even if transmitting as thunderbolt 3 or higher, seems to fit the bill.  Seems to greatly reduce waste and unnecessary differentiation. 

    Not everyone wants to pay $100+ for a wireless charger.  

    Having a dongle / splitter is another thing to get lost or forget when on the road. 


    Not needing to enable Bluetooth saves valuable battery life. I notice a big difference after a day where I leave Bluetooth off on my phone and sync periodically (on / off) to my Apple Watch. 

    Aside: Apple could have chosen to keep a 1/16" analog headphone jack if 1/8" was taking up too much space.  It also could easily be designed to prevent water intrusion. Of course that was never going to happen. 

  • Reply 14 of 15
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 502member
    wanderso said:
    Not everyone wants to pay $100+ for a wireless charger.  

    And it's a good thing they don't have to.  I have several < $20 Monoprice wireless chargers that work fine with my iPhone X & a company iPhone 8.
    https://www.monoprice.com/category?c_id=116&cp_id=10851&cs_id=1085105

    One is on sale now for $5.65 USD.  I own that one, in addition to two of the vertical wireless chargers. The vertical wireless chargers work with the device in portrait or landscape mode, too - you can watch videos while wirelessly charging.
    edited August 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    wanderso said:
    Aside: Apple could have chosen to keep a 1/16" analog headphone jack if 1/8" was taking up too much space.  It also could easily be designed to prevent water intrusion. Of course that was never going to happen. 

    Why would this be a benefit? You would still need an adapter. Sheesh.
    watto_cobra
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