Square Improves Transaction Speed of its Chip Card Reader
Square announced it has improved the speed of chip card transactions on its reader by 25%, from 5.7 to 4.2 seconds.
Square also revealed they do not want consumers to wait more than 3 seconds from the time their card is dipped until the transaction is complete. This is impressive, since American Express reported transaction times between 10 and 20 seconds.
These slow checkout times are leading many consumers to grumble at the register–a feeling Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s Hardware Lead, can relate to. “Consumers and business owners alike loathe waiting for chip cards to process. And we, at Square, feel the same. But it doesn’t have to be this way,” he wrote on the company’s website.
Chip cards now account for 75% of of the cards processed on Square, up from 40% a year ago. Small business owners who use Square readers need these faster transaction times to keep customers happy. Since Square develops their own hardware and software in-house, they are in a unique position to tackle this speed challenge.
“We’re committed to saving time for our sellers and the customers they serve. Conversations with business owners should be about the delicious cheeseburger you ate or the new haircut you just stopped in for, not the amount of time it takes to pay for them,” Dorogusker continued.
The Square reader costs small business owners $49, and the device can also process contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay. The company has seen an increase in these transactions this summer at major festivals and events. At Coachella, more than 10% of the card transactions were contactless, compared to the industry average of 1%, and the BottleRock festival saw rates of 14%.
As Square continues to make faster software, it will automatically push out updates to owners’ devices.