Tech

Chase is taking on Square's infamous credit card dongle with clone, QuickAccept

Ten years after Square launched its credit card dongle that plugs into a smartphone, Chase is introducing a competing product.

Chase

More than ten years after Square introduced its infamous credit card dongle for small businesses to accept payments from anywhere, Chase is introducing a competing product. QuickAccept — not exactly as sleek of a name — is a credit card reader that supports tap-to-pay, chip, and swipe payments and can completely replace an old-fashioned machine.

Both Square and Chase charge the same fees — a business will pay 2.6 percent plus 10 cents for card or tap-based transactions, and 3.5 percent plus 10 cents for sales done manually by typing card details into the app.

Playing defense — While Square's original product was a cute little dongle that plugs into an iPhone or iPad, the company now sells a large variety of credit card readers in varying form factors, including one identical to QuickAccept. It says that it does $100 billion in payment volumes annually since launching in 2009.

Square's consumer-facing Cash app recently began functioning more like a normal bank account, as it now offers to accept direct deposits. Chase, then, might feel like Square is becoming more of a direct threat.

Three million small businesses have accounts with Chase, and it says that it will try and migrate them to QuickAccept. The dongle is free, and businesses that migrate over and meet a certain threshold of sales won't have to pay a monthly fee for their bank accounts.

The original Square credit card dongle made it easy to accept payments from anywhere. James Leynse/Corbis News/Getty Images

Since QuickAccept is connected to a Chase bank account, shops can see money deposited the same day they make a sale. Square says that funds are transferred to a bank account in 1-2 business days, or a business can pay a 1.5 percent fee for an instant transfer. They can also use a special Square debit card to get instant access to their money, however.

Adapting during a crisis — The coronavirus pandemic has caused small retailers to scramble trying to find new ways to service their customers when indoor occupancy has been capped and people aren't going downtown anymore. A portable reader like this could help those businesses get up and running if they make their business newly mobile, for instance. And many shops are asking people to use contactless payments if possible to avoid touching — though when the pandemic (hopefully) ends, cash will be preferable again, of course.

There doesn't seem to be much differentiating QuickAccept from Square, which has a much hotter consumer-facing brand thanks to Square Cash. At the very least competition is always good at encouraging further innovation.