Chip cards started rolling out in the US about a year ago. While they are a safer method of payment (for both merchants and customers), their processing is painfully slow. In an effort to solve this problem, Square has created a faster chip card reader!
Square has reduced the chip card payment processing time by 25% from 5.7 seconds to 4.2 seconds (measured from when a card has been dipped to when payment is complete). Square also unveiled the plans to further reduce that speed to around 3 seconds as it continues shaving off transaction time through software updates that get automatically pushed to business owners’ devices.
News agencies recently reported that industry-wide the average chip card processing speeds range between 8 and 13 seconds. With this in mind, Square is in a unique position to tackle this challenge, since they design both the hardware and software in-house. This allows engineers to optimize the entire system at once and push the reader even faster.
“We’re committed to saving time for our sellers and the customers they serve. Conversations with business owners should be about the delicious cheeseburger you ate or the new haircut you just stopped in for, not the amount of time it takes to pay for them,” says Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s Hardware Lead.
Chip cards are reaching omnipresence in the United States — over 75% of cards processed on Square now contain a chip, up from around 40% a year ago. Square built a contactless and chip reader designed for the consumer with a simple and compact feel. Merchants from Boston to San Diego have ordered more than a half a million readers and are accepting new payments like chip cards as well as contactless payments (like Apple Pay and Android Pay).
Square has seen particular traction with contactless payments at major festivals and events like Coachella where more than 10% of card transactions were contactless, compared to the industry average of 1%. The BottleRock festival saw rates of 14% and most recently at Kanye West’s pop-up shops 7% of card transactions were contactless. The San Francisco merchants processed 28%, Dallas and Houston were at 14%, and Miami was just over 8%.
Here are 3 things new and improved Square reader will help you with:
1. Avoid long waiting lines – Quicker chip card processing means quicker service and happier customers!
2. Be contactless ready – Square’s new reader can also process Apple Pay and Android Pay!
3. Minimize customer card loss – Chip cards are so slow that people have been leaving them at cash registers in droves. Help your customers remember your business for all the right reasons!