Square brings new checkout device to Canada as competition in sector increases

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TORONTO — Square Inc. is introducing a new option at Canadian checkout counters, as the Silicon Valley giant looks to shake up the country’s payment space.

The company, which started with a simple smartphone-based credit card scanner used by small businesses, is launching a device in Canada aimed to more directly compete with the ubiquitous grey boxes that scan payment cards at checkouts.

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.

The company says it also offers transaction rates of 2.65 per cent for credit card payments and 10 cents for every debit payment, without the contracts and sometimes complex pricing offered in a market dominated by Canadian banks.

The rollout of the Terminal, which first launched late last year in the U.S., comes as Ottawa-based online store platform Shopify Inc. pushes more into the realm of bricks and mortar with a suite of hardware checkout options.

Moneris Solutions Corp., Canada’s largest payments card processor, also launched a new suite of devices in April that have 3.5-inch touch colour screens while still keeping a physical keypad.

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