Square is launching a new card reader today that'll let merchants accept Apple Pay and other wireless payments systems. The new reader is a stand-alone device that, like other wireless payment terminals, a customer just needs to tap their phone to in order to make a payment. Square is only advertising support for Apple Pay, but it notes that the reader has some amount of support for Android Pay right now as well; it currently "can't guarantee support" for all Android phones, however. There's also a card slot on one side of the reader, allowing it to accept cards with EMV chips, which are now starting to roll out in the US.
This is Square's first device for accepting wireless payments, and it could go a good ways toward making them more common: Square's mobile credit card readers are already ubiquitous among small merchants, and those that want to start accepting chip cards will need to pick up this new device. That said, Square's original reader spread in part because it's available for free, while this new one will sell for $49. That's a minor expense to a business, but someone selling concert merch isn't as likely to pick this up. Square is now accepting reservations on the new reader, though it doesn't say when they'll begin to ship. It's put an initial 100 units in small businesses throughout major cities like New York and San Francisco.