American payment technology company, Square, has announced today that its new contactless and chip card reader is now available in Australia.

Australia is the second market outside of the US to access the reader, which is designed for businesses from mobile sole traders to multi-store retailers. Using Bluetooth Low Energy technology it let sellers quickly and securely accept tap-and-go cards, mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and chip cards.

Square’s original Square Reader, which can accept chin and PIN cards, is already used by retailers across Australia, but the new reader is Square’s first foray into contactless payment.

According to research done by Square, up to 80 per cent of its Australian customers had not accepted credit or debit cards before using the company’s products, and  Australian country manager, Ben Pfisterer, says Square wants to provide easy payment solutions for all businesses.

This is important for an economy that is increasingly rejecting cash, with the Reserve Bank of Australia reporting that the number of cash transactions plunged by more than a third between 2007 and 2013.

“We’re committed to bringing Australian business owners the best in payment innovation—whether it’s with our newest contactless and chip card reader, our original mobile chip card reader, or our online invoicing software Square Invoices,” Pfisterer says.

“Our tools are helping to rapidly grow the market for card acceptance in one of the world’s most innovative and increasingly cashless economies.”

To make a payment with the new reader, a customer either holds their near field communication (NFC)-enabled card or device up to the reader, or inserts their chip card.

“We know NFC is important to Australian businesses, both for providing fast and secure tap-and-go card payments, and future proofing for the next wave of payment innovation like Apple Pay and Android Pay,” explains Pfisterer.

“We’re delivering it in the most accessible, affordable and mobile way, available anywhere in Australia.”

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