Built-in connector gives Square's original card reader new life

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In launching the Lighting Connector this week, Square has switched its focus back to its original magstripe card reader after focusing much attention the past few years on EMV-enabled readers.

The built-in Lightning Connector on the Square Reader allows a merchant to plug it directly into the power source on an iPhone 7 and later Apple devices.

When Apple first revealed a few years ago that it might not include a headphone jack on newer models, it left mobile card reader manufacturers searching for options to keep their products operating for small merchants.
The Lightning Connector eliminates the need for merchants using the Square Reader to rely on a 3.5mm headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet to operate with its mobile app.

Square also revealed Tuesday it supports desktop transactions through older Square Readers. A 3.5mm connector can now plug directly into a Mac laptop or Google Chromebook audio jack to accept payments through Square's Virtual Terminal app for desktops.

Square is reminding its merchants still accepting only magstripe transactions that they are not eligible for chargeback protections, a policy at Square since the EMV liability shift in 2015.

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