Square delivers mobile payments to shops with phones

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If you’re the owner of a small shop and you prefer cards to cash, you’re not alone, and a new $20 gadget has arrived to help make that a reality.

Released overseas for around seven years, Australia is now getting its shape around the “Square”, a little square device that plugs right into the 3.5mm headphone jack of your iPhone or Android device and turns the smartphone into a payment gateway.

Simply plug the Square into the audio jack of a compatible smartphone, grab the app, set it up, and away you go, with a merchant able to take debit and credit payments over a chip card or a magnetic strip from any location.


“With the launch of Square Reader in Australia, we’re empowering local sellers with the tools they need to start, run, and grow their businesses,” said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square.

“Our launch in Australia is an important step for our company and an exciting moment for a market so committed to innovation and an entrepreneurial small business community.”

Designed to be small and pocketable, the Square gadget works with credit and debit card payments from pretty much every major card supplier, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, and will take the money from anyone paying using the Square and deposit it into an Aussie bank account.

Square does take a portion of the transaction, telling GadgetGuy that the amount is always 1.9 percent regardless of the card used, which should give small business owners and stall workers a way to get people buying their goods when cash isn’t plentiful but mobile reception is.


“Square is a simple yet powerful solution for businesses of any type and size,” said Ben Pfisterer, Country Manager for Square in Australia.

“Whether they’re running a market stall, mobile business or a franchise, we want to empower them with the tools that they can use to start, run and grow,” said Pfisterer.

Pricing for the Square gadget chimes in at $19 — yes, we’re serious — where the gadget is expected to face off against the small PayPal Here unit which sells for a little under $100.


Availability is now, though, with online ordering at the Square website only, while future availability is expected through Apple, Bunnings, and Officeworks.