Square has updated its magstripe card reader to support current iOS devices. Apple discontinued the 3.5-mm headphone jack with the release of the iPhone 7, forcing some iPhone owners to use an adapter with their Square Readers. The Square Reader for magstripe now comes with both a headset jack and Lightning option.
PayPal is taking a new step into the smartphone arena with an iPhone accessory designed to accept payments anywhere there's a data connection. When we first wrote up competitor Square in 2009, the concept of a small device that plugs into the headphone jack and accepts credit card data was a work in progress.
The latest entry into the market is dubbed PayPal Here, and moves PayPal's services even further into the offline, brick and mortar world of commerce. Not only does PayPal's device and software swipe credit cards, but merchants can process checks using the iPhone camera, track cash payments or send invoices out for later payment.
Mophie and Intuit have entered the iPhone credit card transaction game with the Complete Card Solution for iPhone. Mophie, known for its iPhone battery pack cases, developed an iPhone 3G/3GS case that includes a magnetic card reader built in. When the card is swiped, data is encrypted before it uploads to the iPhone to be processed by the Intuit GoPayment 3.0 app.
Mophie is working on an iPhone 4 version of the device. In the meantime, Square features a portable card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of any iPhone or iPad. The two competing payment systems have different costs, with Square being completely free to set up. Complete Card Solution is $179 for the card reader unit and requires a $12.95 monthly subscription.
What will they think of next? Soon if you want to accept credit cards at your garage sale there will be an app for that. A project named Square is now in alpha testing and expects to allow iPhone users to process credit card transactions for a fee.
The money transfers directly to the bank account of the merchant and the purchaser receives an email receipt. As seen in the photo from Cool Hunting above, the credit card reader is an accessory that simply plugs into the headphone jack of the iPhone or iPod Touch.