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Square prepares for US move to secure, chip-based credit cards with new reader

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Pre-orders open later this year

Traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards are slowly being phased out, and Square is adapting to the times with new support for EMV credit cards. Commonly known as chip-and-PIN cards in the UK and Ireland, these are compliant with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) global standard and are reputedly harder to hack or replicate.

"Our EMV readers are the next step"

Available for pre-order later this year, Square's new reader is described as "small enough to fit in a pocket" and will be compatible with iOS and Android devices. "Our EMV readers are the next step towards ensuring sellers make every sale," Square CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement. The mobile payment company's decision to launch an EMV reader is no surprise given the strong incentive for retailers to move to more secure payment methods. After October 2015, US businesses that have yet to adopt EMV support will be held accountable for any fraudulent transactions that might occur.

More importantly, EMV compliance allows Square to continue its push into international markets, which began with an expansion into Japan last year. Chip-enabled payment cards have been widely used throughout Europe and parts of Asia since 1994 and may eventually become standard in the United States as well. As a result, these new card readers will be all but essential to Square's continued growth.