Compare the Square Readers

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

  • The Square Reader for magstripe: only accepts magstripe cards.
  • The Square Reader for chip: accepts chip and magstripe cards.
  • The Square Reader for contactless and chip: 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 Reader for chip chip and the Square Reader for contactless and chip both require charging, but the Square Reader for magstripe does not.

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

Magstripe Reader

You’ll receive one free magstripe reader when you create a Square account for the first time. You can purchase additional magstripe readers for 10 dollars at any time. The Square Reader for Magstripe comes with two different connection types, headphone jack and Lightning. In all other ways, the two readers are exactly the same! Depending on the device you have, you can choose the connection type that is right for you.

Visit our Square Shop 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

Chip Card Reader

The chip card reader combines magstripe technology with an EMV terminal to accept both magstripe and chip cards. To learn more, read Square’s guide to EMV.

You can purchase a Square Reader for chip online. Read more about getting started with the chip card reader.

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

Contactless and Chip Card Reader

Accept contactless (NFC) payments, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and chip cards with the Square Reader for contactless and chip. This reader can be used alongside a Square Reader for magstripe or Square Stand for swipe payments. For more information, read Square’s comprehensive guide to NFC.

You can buy the Square Reader for contactless and chip online through Square Shop or from one of our online retail partners:

Readers are also sold at Apple retail locations. Make sure to 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 Reader for contactless and chip

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