Apple’s bold removal of headphone jack has created its fair share of stir in the digital world. But besides being a hassle for the traditional headphone lovers, it also has had lasting effects for many other stakeholders.
The most clearly affected company being Square and its iconic white Square dongle used by millions of merchants and consumers for processing payments on-the-go using their smartphones and tablets.
It was all going so well for the company until Apple decided to kill the headphone jack, which left the company in search for innovation, and that too in very quick time.
When Jack Dorsey revealed his a sleek and shiny white credit-card reader which needed to be plugged into a mobile device’s headphone jack, he never would have thought that this day could also come. The device used a port much like a headphone, which enables anyone using iOS or Android device to accept credit card payments. Square had the first-mover advantage in the market and came up with the idea much before its competitors like PayPal Here, and the European startup called iZettle.
Now after the new iPhone came without a jack, the Square dongle users were in danger of been left stranded and dealing with the hassle of using an additional adapter to be inserted into the Lightning port to enable the connectivity.
And due to the obvious added problems of using an adapter, Square has now looked to expand its payment methods beyond the trademark tiny white dongle connected into the headphone jack. They have also been looking to launch Square Stand, which is an iPhone hawk costing about $99 and doesn’t use the headphone jack. In 2015, the company Square also introduced new contactless method enables the users to use mobile contactless payments technologies such as Apple Pay, and Google’s payments technology and Android Pay. This reader also enables chip-enabled cards and uses Bluetooth technology to connect to a phone with the credit card reader.
A spokesperson for Square elaborated on this innovation: “In addition to headphone jack adapters that will work with Square’s magnetic stripe reader, our new contactless and chip reader pairs wirelessly for a smart, safe, and fast experience—no headphone jack is necessary. Local business owners have ordered more than half a million readers, making it easy for their customers to pay with their cards or phones from Santa Fe to St. Louis.”
Dorsey’s comments during a recent earnings call indicate perhaps Square has been prepared for the potential for the Jack to be killed off by Apple.
He added, “We want to make sure that they’re always a step ahead of everything that might change or will change in the future. So one of the reasons we’re super excited about our contactless and chip card reader is that it works over Bluetooth. And that means it works with more and more devices and can work with more and more devices in the future. This is an open standard that every company is behind and something that gives our sellers the confidence that no matter how the technology shifts, they’re still always able to make the sale.”
This means that the despite all the speculation and fears about the company’s practicality after the release of iPhone 7, Square has proven that it can mould and innovate as the time demands.
What are your thoughts on the new additions into the Square dongle? Does this testify Apple’s claim that their removal of headphone jack will spur on a new revolution in the digital world? Comment below!