Card reader Stories December 16, 2014


On the same day that Apple Pay reached a sign-up rate of 90% of US bank cards by transaction volume, Samsung is reportedly planning to launch a rival mobile payment service that would work with 100% of cards and payment terminals on day one.

Re/code suggests that the company is in talks with LoopPay, a startup which describes itself as “the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet.” Instead of using an NFC chip for contactless payment, LoopPay transmits a magnetic signal which simulates the swiping of the magnetic strip on a card. That means it works with all cards and all payment terminals, contactless or not …  expand full story

Card reader Stories August 13, 2014


Small businesses looking to take occasional card payments without paying monthly fees now have a third option as Amazon has launched Local Register to compete with Square and PayPal Here – as we predicted last month. The $10 card-reader is compatible with any iPhone from the iPhone 4 onward, as well as any iPad or iPad mini.

Amazon is undercutting both competitor services with a flat fee of 2.5 percent per transaction (vs 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square). Not enough? Amazon is sweetening the deal with a special introductory rate of 1.75 percent until the end of 2015, and will also credit the $10 cost of the cardreader in full against transaction fees …  expand full story

Card reader Stories March 29, 2014

Square notifying existing customers to update to new card reader for free


Last year we reported how Apple’s former accessory hardware division leader Jesse Dorogusker redesigned the Square reader to make it 45% thinner than the original version. The updated card reader will be replacing the previous model soon, with the older version no longer being supported by the company.

The company has started notifying existing customers that they can get the new Square reader for free by signing into their web dashboard.

Square, which was co-founded in 2010 by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, allows iOS and Android users to accept credit card payments directly from their mobile devices.







Card reader Stories December 9, 2013

Former Apple accessories engineer helps trim down the Square card reader

While Apple’s former hardware chief was busy flattening the company’s iconic software, Apple’s former accessory hardware division leader Jesse Dorogusker was flattening something else entirely. The Square card reader has been an iconic staple for many small businesses for quite some time now. Compared to other card readers on the market, the Square is already pretty small, but Dorogusker set out to shrink it anyway.

The first order of business was to shrink and improve the reader head responsible for scanning the magnetic strip on the back of the card and transferring the data to the smartphone app. The chip that handles all of the data between the reader head and the smartphone also needed to be tweaked. Rather than have an outside party build a chip that suited Square’s needs, Dorogusker decided to build an in-house custom solution.

Card reader Stories June 18, 2012

iPod and Square card reader playing back audio from an analog tape deck


Engineer Evan Long posted the video above (via Engadget) showing what is apparently an iPod touch equipped with a slightly modified Square credit card reader capable of playing back audio from an old reel-to-reel tape player:

The magnetic stripe reader on the Square basically works exactly like the magnetic read and write heads on an old school cassette player or reel-to-reel machine… Since the headphone jack on most iPods and the iPhone doubles as a microphone input (that’s how the Square reader transfers data) all you then need to do is fire up your favorite audio recording app, and find an easy way to thread the audio tape through.

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