Compare the Square Readers

We offer two different Square Readers so that you can access the latest and most secure hardware for your business:

  • The Square magstripe reader: only accepts magstripe cards.
  • The Square contactless and chip reader: accepts contactless (NFC) payments and chip cards.

Here are some important things to know about Square Readers:

  • They are universal – one reader can be used with all supported devices.
  • They’re not linked to any specific Square account or bank account.
  • They can be shared among multiple Square accounts or locations.
  • They don’t store specific account holder or buyer information. If your reader is lost or stolen, you can rest assured that your account information is stored safely and securely on our servers.
  • The Square contactless and chip reader requires charging, but the magstripe reader does not.

Decide what Square Reader is right for you by checking out this side-by-side comparison

Magstripe Reader

You’ll receive a free magstripe reader when you create a Square account. You can also get additional, free magstripe readers at any time. Visit your online Square Dashboard to order a reader or pick one up at a local retail store. Learn more about reader shipping times.

Note: When paired with the contactless and chip reader, the magstripe reader can be used to swipe chip cards.

Square's magstripe reader

Contactless + Chip Reader

Accept contactless debit and credit cards, mobile payments, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and chip credit cards with the Square contactless + chip reader. This reader doesn’t accept magstripe cards, but it can be used alongside a magstripe reader or Square Stand. The Square Reader for contactless + chip also is the most secure way to accept payments through Square, reducing your risk for EMV chargebacks.

For more information, read Square’s comprehensive guide to NFC.

You can buy the contactless + chip reader online through Square Shop or from one of our online retail partners:

To hold the reader in place at your countertop, check out the Dock for Square Reader.

The Square contactless + chip reader
We offer two different Square Readers so that you can access the latest and most secure hardware for your business:

  • The Square magstripe reader: only accepts magstripe cards.
  • The Square contactless + chip reader: accepts contactless (NFC) payments and chip cards.

Here are some important things to know about Square Readers:

  • They are universal – one reader can be used with all supported devices.
  • They’re not linked to any specific Square account or bank account.
  • They can be shared among multiple Square accounts or locations.
  • They don’t store specific account holder or buyer information. If your reader is lost or stolen, you can rest assured that your account information is stored safely and securely on our servers.
  • The Square contactless + chip reader requires charging, but the magstripe reader does not.

Decide what Square Reader is right for you by checking out this side-by-side comparison

Magstripe Reader

You’ll receive a free magstripe reader when you create a Square account. You can also get additional, free magstripe readers at any time. Visit your online Square Dashboard to order a reader or pick one up at a local retail store. Learn more about reader shipping times.

Note: When paired with the contactless + chip reader, the magstripe reader can be used to swipe chip cards.

Square's magstripe reader

Contactless + Chip Reader

Accept contactless (NFC) payments, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and chip cards with the Square contactless + chip reader. This reader doesn’t accept magstripe cards, but it can be used alongside a magstripe reader or Square Stand. For more information, read Square’s comprehensive guide to NFC.

You can buy the contactless + chip reader online through Square Shop.

Readers are also sold at Apple retail locations. Make sure you call or visit apple.com before stopping by to check if readers are in stock.

To hold the reader in place at your countertop, check out the Dock for Square Reader.

The Square contactless and chip card reader