Apple Now Selling Square’s New NFC Reader for Apple Pay and Contactless Payments

Square has announced that its new NFC reader that enables small businesses to accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other contactless payments can now be purchased from Apple online or in U.S. stores for $49.

The reader is compatible with NFC-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone 6 or newer, and contactless EMV chip debit and credit cards based on technologies like American Express ExpressPay, MasterCard PayPass, and Visa payWave.

The small square-shaped reader functions like other NFC-enabled payment terminals, allowing users to wave an iPhone, paired Apple Watch, or contactless EMV chip card near the reader for a few seconds to complete a purchase.

The NFC reader, which connects wirelessly with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, also works with EMV chip cards that are inserted for Chip-and-Signature payments. Square includes a magstripe reader in the box for accepting traditional swipe payments as well.

Apple Pay is accepted at more than 1 million locations in the U.S., but its early rollout has mostly been limited to larger franchises. Square’s new NFC reader, and similar products, will help expand Apple Pay to smaller businesses across the country.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: NFC, Square
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March Event Could See Launch of iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 and New Apple Watch Bands

Apple is rumored to be planning to host a March event to unveil new products, but exact details on what will be shown off at the event have been in flux. An early December rumor from 9to5Mac suggested Apple would use the event to unveil a second-generation Apple Watch, but a report from TechCrunch indicated that rumor was false – no Apple Watch 2 is in the works for an early 2016 launch.

Instead, TechCrunch shared information indicating something smaller but still watch-related could be introduced in March, perhaps a minor update to add a FaceTime camera or new bands and partnerships similar to Apple’s collaboration with Hermès. In a new report on what may come out at the March event, 9to5Mac backtracks on earlier claims of an Apple Watch 2 and instead agrees with TechCrunch, pointing towards a new Apple Watch lineup with new bands but no hardware changes.

At its September 2015 event, Apple introduced its Hermès partnership and debuted new colors for several Apple Watch bands, and we may see the same kind of update at the March event. New colors for existing bands and bands in new materials may be in the works. Apple is also planning to release watchOS 2.2 at or shortly after the event.

Apple’s March event may also see the debut of the rumored 4-inch iPhone, now thought to be called the „iPhone 5se“ to reflect its position as a successor to the iPhone 5s. The device is said to have an iPhone 5s-style exterior with iPhone 6-style curved cover. Internally, it will feature an A8 or A9 processor, NFC support for Apple Pay, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and while it won’t have 3D Touch, it will be capable of taking Live Photos.

Previous rumors have suggested we could also see the next-generation iPad Air at the March event, as it is said to be debuting in the spring of 2016.

Though no Apple Watch 2 update is planned for early 2016, a second-generation update is undoubtedly in the works. It’s possible Apple could be planning to release a new Apple Watch in the fall months alongside the iPhone 7.

Apple’s plans for a March event remain tentative, and should products not be ready for release, there’s a possibility that it could be canceled in favor of an online-only unveiling and announcement for the 4-inch iPhone and new Apple Watch bands.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, Apple Watch, watchOS 2, iPhone 5se (2016), iPhone 6c
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Air (Don’t Buy), Apple Watch (Neutral)
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CES 2016: Braven Unveils New Rugged Bluetooth Speakers and Portable Battery for iPhone and iPad

Braven has announced a pair of new Bluetooth speakers and a portable backup battery for iPhone and iPad at CES 2016. The trio of rugged accessories are designed to withstand drops, sand, snow, dirt, dust and water, making them ideal for outdoor activities ranging from camping and hiking to rafting and rock climbing.

The Braven BRV-BLADE LE is a rugged portable Bluetooth speaker that features an IPX7 waterproof rating, aircraft-grade aluminum casing, shockproof ABS construction, built-in 4,000mAh power bank, microphone for hands-free calls and more. The speaker will be available for $199.99 in Q2 of 2016.

The Braven BRV-XXL is another rugged portable Bluetooth speaker with an IPX 5 waterproof rating and a tank-like design crafted from aircraft grade aluminum and shockproof ABS. The speaker delivers 14 hours of music playback and has a large 15,600mAh built-in battery for charging smartphones and tablets.

The BRV-XXL also has NFC, on-board volume and audio controls and a 3.5mm microphone input, and is similarly designed for the outdoors with drop, sand, dirt and dust protection, tie-down loops and a carry strap with a built-in bottle opener. The Braven BRV-XXL will be available for purchase for $349.99 in Q1 of 2016.

Braven claims its BRV-BANK PRO LE is the world’s first ultra-rugged, smart modular backup battery. The portable charging accessory has an IPX7 waterproof rating and features a built-in 300-lumen LED flashlight, aircraft-grade aluminum housing and Bluetooth SMART support for controlling the battery with Braven’s iOS app.

The BRV-BANK PRO LE has a 6,000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, enough to fully charge most smartphones two or three times, with two USB charging ports (1A and 2.4A). The portable battery will be available for purchase for $129.99 in Q1 of 2016 and comes with a nylon-braided USB cable and a lanyard in the box.

Tags: battery pack, Bluetooth, Braven, CES 2016
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Samsung Pay to beat Apple Pay to China next year

Samsung is already fighting Apple Pay head on in the U.S., and now the South Korean company wants to beat it to new markets. A new report claims Samsung Pay will make its way to China, Spain, and the U.K. next year — only one of which is already supported by Apple Pay. “As per […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Partners With PayAnywhere for Universal Apple Pay Card Reader

Apple today announced the company is partnering with PayAnywhere for a new mobile NFC card reader that will be able to attach to iOS devices and support Apple Pay transactions in any retail location, in addition to traditional credit card support (via CNBC). The reader will be available exclusively in Apple Stores beginning in September, with the chance for merchants signing up with a new PayAnywhere account to get the first $5,000 in Apple Pay transaction fees for free.

„We are very excited to launch sales exclusively in Apple Stores throughout the country,“ said Marc Gardner, CEO of PayAnywhere, in a statement. „To demonstrate how simple and easy it is to accept Apple Pay, we have chosen to offer all customers the first $5,000 free in Apple Pay transaction processing with a new PayAnywhere account.“

The new reader will allow smaller businesses to begin supporting Apple’s mobile payments service without much hassle, with the company noting that there is no confusing set-up or monthly fees needed to bring the reader into a retail space. Like other mobile payment readers, PayAnywhere lets merchants add in tips and discounts, email or print receipts, and receive detailed data on „what, where, and when“ customers are purchasing items in a shop.

Ever since its launch last October, Apple Pay has slowly gained new support at retailers and financial institutions nationwide, and even grown to support hundreds of thousands of merchants outside of the United States.



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