My Reader won’t accept Credit Cards

If you are having trouble accepting EMV or tap transactions, try the following steps:

  • Ensure that your reader is fully charged and that you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
  • If the reader and device are more than 10ft apart, the reader will have trouble maintaining a consistent connection. Move your reader and device closer when in use.
  • Verify that your reader is connected:
    • Tap the three horizontal lines in your Square App.
    • Tap Settings > Card Readers.
    • Check that the four numbers in your setting match your reader’s serial number.
  • Make sure you see a single green light on the reader before you ask your customer to hold their device over the reader to make the payment.
  • Double check the the chip on your customer’s card is facing up.
  • Keep your customer’s card in the reader until prompted on your device’s screen to remove the card.

My Reader won’t pair with my device

Pairing your Reader for the first time

Before you attempt to connect your reader, make sure that your reader is ready to be connected.

  • Make sure Bluetooth is turned on in your device settings.
  • Ensure that your reader is fully charged.
  • Check the your device is connected to the internet, you are unable to use your reader in Offline Mode.
  • Force shutdown your reader. To do so:
    • Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
    • Use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red.
    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
    • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

    If the reader lights turn on, you’re all set. If the lights don’t turn on, please try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

Once your reader is ready to be paired, you’ll want to open up the Square App.

Keep in mind, Square hardware can only be used in the country where it was originally purchased. If you see Account Ineligible, you reader may have been purchased in a different country.

Note: that the reader pairs to your device through the Square app – not through your device’s Bluetooth settings. To do so:

  1. Go to the Square app and tap the three horizontal lines.
  2. Tap Settings & Card Readers.
  3. Tap Connect a Reader. If you are using an iOS device you will need to select Contactless + Chip Reader.

Verify that your reader can go into pairing mode. To put the reader into pairing mode, press the reader’s power button for 3-10 seconds until you see 4 orange blinking lights. Immediately release your finger when you see these orange lights. If you see red lights, you’ve held the button too long and you can try again.

To get a full walk through of pairing your reader, watch our video on connecting your reader and device wirelessly.

Pairing your Reader with a new Device

If you are attempting to pair your reader with a new device or switching the reader to a different device, you must first have your reader forget it’s connection to the previous device. To do so, head to your Square App on the device you previously connected your reader on and follow the steps below:

  1. Tap the three horizontal lines in top-left corner.
  2. Tap Settings > Scroll to Card Readers
  3. Select your connected reader and tap Forget This Reader

If you do not have your original device to forget your reader, you can reset your reader. To do so:

  1. Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
  2. While the reader is charging, use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds, or after the 4 lights stop blinking red.Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.
  3. If the reader lights don’t turn on, please try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

My Reader won’t charge

Please try the tips below – they usually fix most charging issues customers encounter with the reader:

  • Make sure the reader is firmly plugged into the USB hardware hub of your Square Stand or into a grounded AC outlet.
  • Try plugging the power adaptor into a different outlet.
  • Force shutdown your reader. To do so:
    • Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
    • Use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red.
    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
    • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

    If the reader lights don’t turn on, please try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

My Reader keeps disconnecting

You reader shouldn’t have any issues staying connected but there are a few quick tricks that can help get you back up and running right away. Give these a try and you should be all set:

  • Make sure Bluetooth is turned on from your device settings. If it’s on, try turning it off and back on.
  • Make sure that your reader is within 10 feet of your device. Beyond that distance, the BLE connection will be out of range and become disconnected. You’ll also want to double check for bluetooth interference, check out this Apple resource for more information.
  • Double check that your reader is fully charged.
  • If you are using a dock for your reader, plug the dock’s power cord into a grounded AC outlet.
  • Delete and reinstall the Square app. If you’ve recently accepted payments while in Offline Mode and haven’t uploaded them, don’t delete and reinstall the app or you’ll lose these transactions. Connect your mobile device to the Internet to complete these payments before deleting the app.
  • Check your internet connect, a weak connection can cause your reader to disconnect.
  • Turn your mobile device off and back on.

Keep in mind that your reader will enter sleep mode after 2 hours of inactivity, simply press the power button once to wake your reader back up.

Reset your Reader

If you continue to have trouble with your reader after trying the above steps, you can reset your reader by a force shutdown.

To do so:

  • Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
  • While the reader is charging, use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds.
  • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
  • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

If the reader lights turn on, you’re all set. If the lights don’t turn on, please try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t the Reader connect wirelessly with my iPad 2?

The reader connects wirelessly with the iPad 3 or higher. If you have an iPad 2 with a Square Stand, you can connect the reader directly to the Stand’s hardware hub via USB.

The USB hub on my Square Stand is full. Can I use a splitter to connect my reader?

We don’t officially support splitters or third-party USB hubs, but you can connect the reader wirelessly to your iPad via Bluetooth Low Energy.

Can I use the contactless and chip card Reader in Offline Mode?

No, Offline Mode supports magstripe payments only, so you’ll need to use the magstripe reader or the Square Stand.

Why does my Reader disconnect when I turn on Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode disables Bluetooth on your device. Which causes your reader will disconnect. Once you go into Airplane Mode, connect your Bluetooth back on to be able to use your reader.

In case you are looking to take magstripe payments while in Offline Mode, disable Wi-Fi only and you will maintain your Bluetooth connection.

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