Get Started with the Square Chip Card Reader

Square Reader allows you to accept supported chip cards (also known as EMV cards) as well as magnetic stripe payment cards. The reader has two slots – one for inserting chip cards and one for swiping magnetic stripe cards.

A view of the chip card reader that shows the 2 slots – one for magstripe cards and one for chip cards.

The first time you plug in your reader, it will automatically update its software. This should take about 10 minutes to complete and you won’t be able to take payments while your reader is updating. Once the update has completed, simply unplug and replug the reader into your device. You are also encouraged to make sure your reader is fully charged when you first receive it. 

Plug in the Reader

To plug in your reader:

  1. Open the Square Point of Sale app and insert the reader into the audio jack of your mobile device with Square’s logo facing you.
  2. Wait for an in-app message to display Reader Ready.

Note: If you see an error message indicating the reader isn’t ready, wait to insert the payment card.

Accept a Chip Card

Every card with a chip should be inserted in the front slot of the reader and held in place throughout an entire transaction. 

When you’re ready to process a chip card payment with the Square app:

  1. At the payment screen, hold the card vertically with both the card and Square’s logo facing you.
  2. Insert the card (chip side first) into the front slot.
  3. Push the card towards the bumper at the side of the front slot until you hear a click, which means the chip on the card is making contact with the chip in the reader.
  4. Follow the in-app screen prompts and leave the card in the front slot until you fully complete the payment.
  5. Wait for the Approved message that indicates that the transaction was successful.

Note: Specific business types may be able to securely skip PIN entry for some payments under $35. The option to skip PIN entry for small payments cannot be adjusted within the app. Skipping PIN is not currently available for all business types when processing MasterCard transactions. 

If you’re having any trouble with your reader, review these reader troubleshooting tips.

Swipe a magnetic stripe card with the Reader

Magnetic stripe cards without a chip can be swiped in the back of the Square Reader. Learn how to swipe a magnetic stripe payment card with Square Point of Sale.