A new card reader from Square that accepts a range of contactless payment services including Apple Pay will hit the mass market in the US early in 2016.
The reader is available first with 100 local businesses in select US cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Food sellers and coffee shops are among the early adopters.
Despite first being unveiled in June this year at Apple’s WWDC event, Square’s new reader is not shipping until early next year. It will cost $49.
Unlike the firm’s original card reader, the new model does not slot directly into the headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet but connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. A separate magstripe reader for older cards is included with the new reader.
As well as NFC-enabled smartphones, the new reader accepts payments from EMV chip cards too.
The announcement only specifies the reader will work with Apple Pay but presumably it is capable of handling rivals Samsung Pay and Android Pay too.