Merchants that rely on a card reader that connects with a smartphone via its headphone jack could still use their devices with the iPhone 7.
Apple Inc. unveiled its latest smartphone last week, and as expected it has eliminated the final vestige of analogue technology on this digital technology tool – the 3.5 mm headphone jack. While audiophiles may have mixed feelings about the move, smaller merchants that use card readers such as Square and Moneris Payd might also fret over not being able to use the readers without a headphone jack.
Of course, those merchants could just avoid the iPhone 7. But Lenovo’s Moto Z also eliminated the headphone jack, showing that this might be the start of a trend.
We inquired with Square and Moneris, and good news – merchants can have their new iPhone 7 and make sales with card readers too. Using the Lightning to headphone jack adapter will work perfectly fine; even if it’s a bit awkward, the card readers will function.
“Headphone jack adapters will work with the Square Reader,” says Leslie Jackson, a spokesperson with Square. “We anticipate many types of headphone jack adapters will become available and will work to create the best solution for our sellers.”
Square will continue to offer its sellers options for accepting payments, she says.
At Moneris, most of its merchants in Canada are already using the Payd Pro readers that connect with Bluetooth. Since the iPhone 7 supports Bluetooth as well, of course, those readers will work with there too, says Rob Cameron, chief product officer of Moneris.
Smaller merchants should take this opportunity to move away from headphone jack adapters and embrace Bluetooth, Cameron says. Moneris will still send headphone jack adapters if requested, but that’s already the exception.
He points out that any card reader relying on swiping a credit card’s magnetic stripe is opening up Canadian merchants to added liability. Under PCI-DSS standards, contactless payments and chip & PIN payments are covered by banks and credit card companies. Taking a swipe transaction leaves the merchant on the hook should the transaction prove fraudulent.
“You’d certainly not want to be doing that if you’re accepting payments regularly,” he says.