Square Offers Installment Plan to Urge EMV Adoption

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Square Inc. may be having a tougher time convincing merchants to buy its $49 EMV card reader than it did the free magstripe version it built its business on.

The company now offers an installment plan for the reader, charging merchants $1 a week for 60 weeks to use the reader, which supports EMV and contactless NFC but not magstripe cards.

“We’re committed to removing barriers that stand in your way when it comes to accessing the fastest and most secure technology, and that means making it easy for you to make the switch to EMV and NFC,” Square said this week in a blog post.

Before introducing the contactless EMV reader as an Apple Pay companion, Square also developed $29 and $39 versions that lacked NFC. Even these versions were viewed as a tough sell because of the sudden introduction of a price tag to what had, in its earlier form, been a free product.

A Square spokesperson said demand for latest card reader has been strong and the company has racked up 500,000 orders since its launch last November. "Millions" of sellers accept payments through Square, according to the company's first-qaurter earnings report published in May.

The introduction of an installment plan is the latest move in a series hinting at Square’s growing hunger for improved results after a season of lackluster earnings.

Square earlier this month signaled trouble in its lending operations, where it extends financing to small companies seeking short-term loans.

The company continues to add more services, including an invoicing feature for merchants it launched in recent weeks.

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