Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Square Brings New Checkout Device to Canada as Competition in Sector Increases

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Square Brings New Checkout Device to Canada as Competition in Sector Increases

Article excerpt

Square launches new checkout device in Canada

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TORONTO - Canadian checkout counters could soon look quite different as a Silicon Valley giant looks to shake up the retail payment space -- dominated by the ubiquitous grey terminal --with a new option introduced Thursday.

Square Inc., which started about a decade ago with a smartphone-based credit card scanner used mainly by small businesses, has launched a device in Canada aimed at disrupting a market of larger retailers dominated by Canadian banks.

Square's white plastic device, called the Terminal, replaces the physical keypad design with a glass touch screen that it says allows for more clarity at checkout with a variety of display options, such as a full breakdown of the bill.

Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square, said the portable device with a built-in receipt printer and 'all day' battery life is also easily updated to take advantage of the company's latest software offerings, unlike some of the more limited designs commonly found at the checkout.

The company hopes to see quick adoption of its device from new companies, but noted that many existing merchants are already tied to multi-year contracts, Dorogusker said.

"For some, we have to wait them out. Honestly, it's an unfair contract they got locked into and they're checking the days and doing the math."

To help encourage adoption of Square's Terminal, which first launched late last year in the U.S., the company has offered substantial discounts on the hardware to sell the devices below cost.

Square is also touting its straightforward transaction rates for the device of 2.65 per cent for credit card payments and 10 cents for every debit payment, without the contracts and what it calls opaque pricing offered by Canadian banks.

The Canadian payment space is dominated by Moneris Solutions Corp. …

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