Square Credit Card Reader Review: Taking A Closer Look At Square Contactless & Chip and Magstripe Readers


  • Supports EMV payments
  • Supports contactless (NFC-based) payment methods
  • All-day battery life
  • Works with mobile devices and Square Stand
  • Financing available


  • No integrated magstripe reader
  • Only works with Square account

Square Credit Card Readers Overview

For many minor clientele owners, the Square Reader for contactless and chip ( as it ’ south officially called ) is a great entry-level device that ’ s compatible with EMV-enabled cards. besides, it supports NFC-based payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It ’ south priced affordably at just $ 49 and even includes the previous Square magstripe calling card reader that you can use as a accompaniment if you encounter a wag that still doesn ’ t have an EMV chip. While more advance models ( such as the Square Terminal and Square Register ) offer extra features, the basic Square Reader is all you need to take in-person credit or debit menu payments .
The Square Reader differs from most competing devices in that it doesn ’ t include magstripe swipe capability at all. This international relations and security network ’ t indeed much a limit as it is a mean of future-proofing the device while however maintaining a small, portable form factor. EMV is now the standard method acting of accepting a credit or debit tease in the US, Europe, and many early countries. Magstripe engineering, on the other hand, is very out of date and hopelessly insecure by mod standards. Mastercard has already announced that it will cease publish cards with a magstripe by 2030, and other card brands are surely to do besides .
Keep reading our full moon Square Card Readers review for all the details !

overall Design

Rating : excellent

Despite the awkwardness of its name, the Square Reader for contactless and chip excels in fundamental product design. Rounded edges and a smooth, slick surface allow it to pair well with the smartphones and tablets it ’ s intended to work with. In fact, it ’ s a little excessively satiny sometimes, being slippery and easy to drop if you ’ rhenium not careful. Businesses that operate from a fixed retail location will want to add the optional Square Dock to their process setup. Solid and heavy ( 0.92 lbs., to be demand ), it ’ s made from the lapp glossy white fictile as the Square Reader but with a texturized, grippy rubberize bottom to keep it from sliding about on a countertop .
The Square Dock comes in two pieces : the dock itself and a detachable lip to secure the reader in place. The lip pops up and out sol that you can insert the reader. then you simply press it back into place to secure it. One design quirk is that the power/pairing release on the Square Reader is on the bottom of the whole, rendering it inaccessible when the reader is mounted on the dock. however, this will alone be an troublesomeness if you need to re-pair the subscriber while processing a requital .
Like any thoroughly technical school device these days, the Square Reader besides has respective optional accessories that you can add, such as cases, reception printers, and cash drawers. many of these are third-party products, but they can be handily ordered from the Square web site .

Square Chip Card Reader Specs

The Square Reader for contactless and nick supports both EMV and NFC-based requital methods. NFC defend includes Apple Pay, Google Pay, and NFC-enabled ( i.e., tap-to-pay ) credit/debit cards. Tap-to-pay cards with an implant NFC chip have been common in Europe for many years and are last beginning to roll out in the United States .
The subscriber does not patronize magstripe payments. however, Square throws in a absolve magstripe menu reader for those ( hopefully ) rare situations where you need to accept a magstripe circuit board. The lector is available with either a Lightning connection or a 3.5 millimeter earphone jacklight, depending on the type of smartphone/tablet you plan to use it with. Depending on what kind of power-draw your wall port and charging cable are designed for, it should lone take two to three hours to charge the Square Reader in full. There international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate much information about the Square Reader ’ randomness battery life, but Square says it ’ south designed for all-day use. The reader besides goes to sleep after two hours of inactiveness to help preserve the battery. however, as with barely about any electronic device, your mileage may vary .
If you find that your reviewer is constantly running moo on battery contribution way through the day, you can consider investing in the charging dock or plainly keep it plugged into the charging cable .

The easiest direction to get your hands on a Square Reader is to order it immediately from the Square web site. It will normally arrive within five to seven business days. If you ’ re eager to start action with Square and can ’ t yield to wait that retentive, the Square Reader is besides available from many large retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart .
Unlike the traditional countertop terminals you get with a merchant report supplier, the Square Reader doesn ’ thyroxine need to be pre-programmed with a software warhead that connects your merchant account to your provider ’ mho payment march network. That said, Square offers a guarantee on products purchased directly from its web site. If you get your reader from anywhere else, the lapp guarantee doesn ’ t lend oneself. We besides found that some third-party retailers were charging significantly more for the Square Reader than Square does. You ’ ll need a compatible mobile device to set up the reader. Be sure to download the absolve Square Point of Sale app and enter the login credentials for your Square report before you get started .
Square recommends that you charge your reader to 100 % before your beginning function, but unless your reader arrives with a wholly dead battery, you should be able to plug it in and charge it while going through the frame-up process. Start by enabling Bluetooth on your mobile device. You ’ ll besides need to activate a few permissions when you first log on ( localization services, access to the microphone ( for magstripe transactions ), and push notifications. And you ’ ll necessitate to set up all of the inventory, sales tax rates, and any of the other app features you plan to use before you can start selling with Square .
If you ’ ve done all of that ahead of clock time, good ! If not, decidedly make sure you ’ ve at least set up the sales tax have before you make your first sale .

once the Square Point of Sale app is loose, go into the settings menu ; scroll down to “ Card Readers ” and press “ Connect a Card Reader. ” Square will ask you which kind of proofreader you ’ ra using. After selecting the Square Reader for contactless and chip, the Square app will give you on-screen instructions on how to pair the device. It ’ second reasonably simpleton :

  1. Press and hold the power button at the bottom of the reader until you see four lights on the reader flash orange.
  2. Follow the prompts on the screen (if any) to approve the pairing request.

After you ’ re connected, the Square Point of Sale app will download any firmware updates for the lector, which can take a few minutes. It will then notify you that your new Square Reader is fix to use !
A few facts to note about the Square Reader for contactless and chip :

  1. You can use the Square magstripe reader at the same time. You just need to plug it into the headphone jack (or the Lightning port of any recent iPhones). There shouldn’t be any conflict in using the two at the same time.
  2. The Square Reader for contactless and chip can only pair with one device at a time. Keep this limitation in mind if you have multiple devices and the reader might float between them. You’ll need to unpair the current device before switching to a different one.
  3. If you have a Square Stand, you can connect the Square Reader for contactless and chip to the Stand using the USB cable included with the reader or via the charging dock. This eliminates the need for Bluetooth pairing.

besides, note that if you pair the reader with an Apple device, you ’ ll receive a telling that the Apple Pay feature of speech on that device has been temporarily disabled. This is a precautionary measurement to prevent you from by chance paying for a customer ’ randomness leverage using your history .

Square Software Design & Features

Rating : excellent The barren Square Point of Sale app is your gateway to unlocking the potential of Square ’ s mobile processing system and associated services. It ’ s available for Apple devices running iOS/iPadOS 12.0 or higher and Android ( operating system requirements vary by device, so touch Square if you have an older model ) .
Square Point of Sale is a good, general app that works well for most minor businesses. however, if you have more speciate needs, the Square Reader will besides work with Square Appointments, Square for Retail, and Square for Restaurants. Square for Retail offers more advance report features and a search-optimized POS interface. Full-service restaurants and bars will probable fare better with Square for Restaurants, which offers run and table mapping. Service businesses ( such as salons ) will appreciate Square Appointments, which combines Square POS features and seamless appointee booking and check .
For the most part, the Square Reader for contactless and chip works seamlessly with all of these POS systems. The merely noteworthy limitation is that the subscriber doesn ’ thymine work with offline modality. To process transactions without the internet, you ’ ll need to use the Square magstripe reader. You besides won ’ metric ton be able to connect the lector without a firm internet bespeak for this cause — you ’ ll need either a cellular data connection or Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth .
here ’ s a brief overview of some of the major features of the Square Point of Sale app :

Payment Acceptance

Square accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. There ’ second besides accompaniment for endow and rewards cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Support for alternative requital methods has expanded recently and now includes payments via invoice, QR codes, or requital links .

Payment Protection

The Square Point of Sale app encrypts all payment information submitted by your customers. Because your account is aggregated with other users into a individual merchant account, Square mechanically takes worry of all PCI complaisance requirements for you. Fraud protection services are besides built-in .
Unlike most traditional merchant score providers, Square even takes manage of chargebacks for you — at no extra cost. You can monitor the condition of any quarrel transactions on your Square Dashboard .

Checkout Customization

Square allows you to group armory items into categories, customize your menu with item modifiers, and upload multiple items at once with the bulge importer instrument. The app besides supports itemize refunds .
recently, the caller has added an Order Manager feature that integrates with DoorDash, PostMates, Chowly, Caviar, and other delivery services.


Customer receipts can be sent via electronic mail, text, or printed out using an optional reception printer. The app besides supports bill-splitting, customized tip amounts, and automatic rifle discounts .
If you ’ d like more information about each of Square ’ s POS apps, check out our reviews of each :

comfort Of Use

Rating : excellent Square is one of the few merchant services providers in the diligence specializing in meeting first-time clientele owners ’ needs. The company emphasizes both ease and affordability in its products and services, which applies to the Square Reader and Square POS app. If you can follow simple directions, you should be able to set up your reader and start accepting transactions without the want for hours of train .
While basic work tasks are identical bare, there ’ mho naturally going to be a bite more of a learn bend if you want to take broad advantage of Square ’ s more progress features and customization options. At the same time, the company ’ south offerings can sometimes be a bit excessively simple for more boost users. Customization options are often specify, thus don ’ triiodothyronine expect to have the same level of chondritic operate over your checkout interface that you would have with something like Stripe .

Square Card Reader Pricing

Rating : excellent Square has done well at keeping its hardware low-cost, and because it handles sales immediately, price is besides consistent. The Square Reader for contactless and chip sells for $49, while the bobtail sells for an extra $ 29. unfortunately, there ’ s no discount rate available for bundling these two items. note that third-party sellers — particularly on Amazon — may charge a higher price for these items .
You can besides get the Square Reader for contactless and chip bundled with the Square Stand, which sells for $ 199. This includes the pill stand with a built-in magstripe proofreader, the Square Reader for contactless and chip, and the Square Dock. ( You can besides get an iPad from Square for $ 329, but it ’ s not automatically included with the Square Stand. ) besides, be mindful that the Square Stand is not compatible with Android tablets .
Worried about cash flow with your new hardware frame-up ? Square offers a finance program for its hardware, with eligible purchases starting at $ 49. If you opt for barely the Square Reader, you ’ ll pay $ 17/month for three months. A markup of just $ 2 on a $ 49 purchase is wholly fair. however, for other purchases, payment terms depend on a credit see, the come of the purchase, and the full length of the requital plan .
Square offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all hardware purchases. You can return the device within that time frame for a refund, no questions asked. Because Square charges no monthly fees and has no contracts, you can simply stop using the app without worrying about a penalty .
Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate forget that you besides have to pay the transaction costs, which will depend on the Square POS apps you choose :

  • Square POS: 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap
  • Square Appointments: 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap (3.5% + $0.15 for keyed-in or Card on File transactions)
  • Square For Retail (Free plan): 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap (3.5% + $0.15 for keyed-in or Card on File transactions)
  • Square For Restaurants: 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap

There are other fees and costs associated with some of the software features Square provides, such as invoices or the ability to store a card on file. For a more detailed look at Square fees and price, check out our article, The Complete Guide To Square Costs For Payment Processing & Software .

Customer Service & Support

Rating : good Square has invested a draw in building its customer support resources. The subscribe center is loaded with helpful informational articles, walk-throughs, and troubleshooting tips that cover every aspect of Square ’ randomness services, including advice for dealing with all of Square ’ second hardware .
In addition to the self-help knowledgebase, there are other support options :

  • Telephone Support: Square’s phone lines are open from 6 AM to 6 PM PT, Monday through Friday. You’ll need a customer code to use the phone support system, which you get by going through Square’s website or the app.
  • Email Support: If your question isn’t urgent, Square’s email support tools will let you drop a message to the Square team, and they’ll get back to you.
  • Social Media Support: You can tweet @SqSupport for help if you need, or reach out on Square’s Facebook page. This is likely the best option if you’ve tried the self-support resources and can’t find what you need, but it’s not ideal for account-specific questions.

On the whole, Square offers good customer hold. There are lots of options and exhaustive self-help resources. While the company originally provided very little in the way of customer support when it first launched, it ’ south continued to add more options and features over the years. today, Square ranks well ahead of most traditional merchant services providers in terms of the quality of its customer support services .
For more information on Square ’ s customer support options, check out our full follow-up of Square Payments .

Square Credit Card Reader User Reviews

Rating : excellent

Negative Square Reader Reviews & Complaints

While the Square Reader for contactless and check international relations and security network ’ thymine perfect, merchants generally seem happy with it. The bulk of complaints about Square refer to fund holds and displace accounts. No matchless wants to lose their credit poster serve, particularly with little to no warning, or have crucial cash tied up for days or weeks, tied months .

Positive Square Reader Reviews & Testimonials

While Square ’ s web site offers far more data about its products, services, and price than precisely about any competing merchant services provider, it doesn ’ t include any testimonials from actual clientele users. however, positive Square Reader reviews are well found, peculiarly from the numerous third-party sellers it partners with to sell its hardware .
Square Card Reader reviews are broadly identical incontrovertible, with reviewers most normally citing the subscriber ’ sulfur comfortable setup, intuitive interface, and moo monetary value compared to competing devices .

final verdict : Which Square Reader Should I Get ?

With Square, the overall value is astounding — you get a dislodge POS app, rid software for invoice, inventory management, a virtual terminal, and the ability to add loyalty programs, market tools, employee management, and payroll features. Considering the predictable, flat-rate price for payment work, the total lack of commitment required to sign up, and the miss of mandatary monthly fees, it ’ s a great deal, particularly for new and low-volume businesses .
however, the Square Reader for contactless and chip international relations and security network ’ t perfect. The miss of an integrated magstripe reader won ’ metric ton be a problem in the future, but today it can put you in an awkward situation if you need to switch to the magstripe lector while trying to complete a transaction. The price point ( $ 49, with a three-month financing design available ) is appealing, and it ’ mho one of the lowest-priced options for contactless payments around .
If you ’ ve had any hands-on have with the Square Reader for contactless and chip, be certain to tell us about it in the Comments section below !

Square Credit Card Reader FAQs

What is Square credit circuit board lector pricing ? Square ’ sulfur contactless and chip wag reader costs $ 49 and can be purchased through Square ’ s web site .

Does the Square credit card reviewer have good reviews ?

Square ’ s contactless and chip calling card subscriber has very plus reviews with people appreciating its affordability, overall purpose, and facilitate of function when paired with other Square products .

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Category : Finance

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