Electronic payments company Square today announced a new partnership with Apple that will allow small businesses to obtain free processing fees with Apple Pay and compatible Square Readers. Starting today, eligible small businesses across the U.S. will have the chance to process over $12,000 worth of Apple Pay payments for free (based on the 2.75 percent contactless transaction fee charged by Square), totaling $350 worth of savings in Square processing costs.

To receive the free processing discounts, merchants will have to order a discounted $29 Square Reader, which comes with a free Apple Pay marketing kit. The kit includes various stickers and marketing ephemera that promotes the businesses' support of Apple Pay, as well as staff training materials. Once the merchant has their counter set up with all of Square's marketing kit display material, a simple picture sent to Square will then allow the business to start processing Apple Pay transactions for free.

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In the press release, Square mentioned that it hopes the new small business-focused effort will continue to educate both business owners and customers about the benefits of Apple Pay. After a focused campaign by Square took place in Portland, contactless payments "tripled over the course of the campaign." On Apple's side, the company is constantly adding new financial institutions and retailers to its Apple Pay "Where to Use" page, encouraging growth of its mobile wallet since its launch in 2014.

Increased awareness for Apple Pay is also driving traction at major festivals and events. Across Kanye West's Life of Pablo pop-up shops in August there was significant usage of contactless transaction in cities across the U.S., from San Francisco (28%), to Dallas and Houston (both 14%). Together with Apple Pay, Square is taking this approach nationwide to help move the payments industry forward through initiatives that educate sellers and customers.

“It’s no secret that chip cards can be slow, which is why we built our reader to also accept contactless payments, a faster and safer way to pay,” said Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s Hardware Lead. “Anything we can do to make a seller’s experience faster and safer, including working with Apple to encourage Apple Pay usage, is an investment worth making.”

For each business taking part, today's offer lasts until the business reaches the $350 cap of free Apple Pay processing fees, or a year passes from the time they enroll in the offer, "whichever occurs earlier." After either of these contingencies is reached, the standard processing fees will begin to apply. Merchants have all year to take advantage of Square's offer, with enrollment deadlines hitting December 31, 2017.

Square updated its line of payment solution devices in 2015 with a reader that supports NFC payments, letting locations which previously could not support Apple Pay -- due to the lack of a required contactless reader -- begin allowing customers to pay with the service. Apple has supported the Square Reader since early 2016, when it began selling the NFC reader both online and in Apple retail stores for $49.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Square

Top Rated Comments

_mdavenport Avatar
62 months ago
This is good news, hopefully it accelerates Pay adoption.

Also makes me wonder why Apple hasn't done any sort of Pay promotion to encourage adoption, like a $5 iTunes gift card for signing up and completing 5 transactions.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EdT Avatar
62 months ago
I still don't understand the hoopla over Apple Pay. Not much around me even supports it, but the Subway does where I occasionally have lunch. And so my only experience with Apple Pay is there.

Both my Apple Watch and iPhone struggle with "talking" to the reader thing without multiple waving around and touching them together attempts. And pressing the buttons to start the whole process is no less effort than whipping out the card which is then 100% first attempt successful at inserting into the slot to pay. And the card concludes at least as quickly as an Apple Pay transaction. So in short, I quit using Apple Pay. It takes more actions and time and hassle than using a credit card.

Now, I do like Apple Pay on the web. Because that truly has no hassle and doesn't require me to then scan or type in credit card numbers. It's cool there. But in person? Nope. Just a hassle.
For me it's the 3 times I had to get a new credit card and number because the merchant's account was hacked. Twice it was Target. Both times I bought something there before Christmas and after doing so Target announced that their system had been compromised and a week later my bank said my number was one of the accounts stolen. After the 2nd Target hack I asked if I would have to change my card if I had paid with Apple Pay, linked to that account. I was told no, the account information is not included when you use Apple Pay and the number that is used is a one time only number. This was the bank telling me this, not Apple. I also can use Apple Pay for Uber or Lyft car rides.
Edit-Target had initially announced that they would support Apple Pay but ended up not accepting it. I basically have quit going to Target because of their (lack of) security.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djlythium Avatar
62 months ago
This is good news, hopefully it accelerates Pay adoption.

Also makes me wonder why Apple hasn't done any sort of Pay promotion to encourage adoption, like a $5 iTunes gift card for signing up and completing 5 transactions.
Word. Actually, that'd be a great promotion.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
craigmak Avatar
62 months ago
This is good news, hopefully it accelerates Pay adoption.

Also makes me wonder why Apple hasn't done any sort of Pay promotion to encourage adoption, like a $5 iTunes gift card for signing up and completing 5 transactions.
Wells Fargo gave me $20 to use Apple pay, when it was first rolled out. It would be nice if they brought that back.
[doublepost=1485801627][/doublepost]
I still don't understand the hoopla over Apple Pay. Not much around me even supports it, but the Subway does where I occasionally have lunch. And so my only experience with Apple Pay is there.

Both my Apple Watch and iPhone struggle with "talking" to the reader thing without multiple waving around and touching them together attempts. And pressing the buttons to start the whole process is no less effort than whipping out the card which is then 100% first attempt successful at inserting into the slot to pay. And the card concludes at least as quickly as an Apple Pay transaction. So in short, I quit using Apple Pay. It takes more actions and time and hassle than using a credit card.

Now, I do like Apple Pay on the web. Because that truly has no hassle and doesn't require me to then scan or type in credit card numbers. It's cool there. But in person? Nope. Just a hassle.
I find it easier. I have a 3 year old and putting my watch next to the terminal is much easier than my phone or pulling out my wallet. About half of the places I frequent use apple pay. Just need my gas station and grocery store and I would use more frequently.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicksd84 Avatar
62 months ago
I still don't understand the hoopla over Apple Pay. Not much around me even supports it, but the Subway does where I occasionally have lunch. And so my only experience with Apple Pay is there.

Both my Apple Watch and iPhone struggle with "talking" to the reader thing without multiple waving around and touching them together attempts. And pressing the buttons to start the whole process is no less effort than whipping out the card which is then 100% first attempt successful at inserting into the slot to pay. And the card concludes at least as quickly as an Apple Pay transaction. So in short, I quit using Apple Pay. It takes more actions and time and hassle than using a credit card.

Now, I do like Apple Pay on the web. Because that truly has no hassle and doesn't require me to then scan or type in credit card numbers. It's cool there. But in person? Nope. Just a hassle.
Disagree. The line build up during lunch because of waiting for chip cards to read is ridiculous at my work. Meanwhile, apple pay is boom and done-zo
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tmiw Avatar
62 months ago
Hopefully free processing will be a stronger motivator than the chip card liability shift. A lot of smaller places simply don't see the point of buying a $49 device to prevent fraud that they likely don't get (or are perfectly fine with eating the costs of in the name of faster transactions, etc.).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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