updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue March 27, 2012
Square upgrades readers with hardware encryption
Square readers have just been upgraded to offer hardware encryption, VentureBeat found. The company is planning on upgrading existing readers without hardware encryption to the new ones. The new security measure will encrypt credit card numbers as they are sent from the reader to the app on the mobile device, keeping it secure even before it needs to go online.
How much more the new hardware will cost and whether this will be passed on to customers isn't yet known. The required battery does cost between 15 and 25 cents more, which is small enough that Square could eat the difference.
While this upgrade brings Square more in line with the hardware of the likes of competitor VeriFone, that rival company still holds an advantage in supporting PIN-locked debit cards and payments from NFC devices. Square is mostly countering using Pay with Square, which lets users open a tab just by going nearby and then telling a clerk they'd like to pay.