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Square Cuts Chip Card Processing Time

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Aug. 20 2018, Updated 12:19 p.m. ET

Chip card transaction typically takes 13 seconds

Square (SQ) has updated its payment card readers to process chip card transactions faster, allowing sellers who use the readers to speed up the lines at their checkout terminals. Customers also benefit by not having to wait so long in line.

The update means sellers using Square readers can process chip-based card transactions in two seconds compared to 13 seconds, according to a Wall Street Journal study last year. The study found that a chip card takes twice as long to process as a card swipe. But chip cards are preferred because they are more secure.

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Square dropping signature requirement

Along with the update to speed up chip card transactions, Square will also let sellers skip the signature requirement because it believes its chip technology is sufficiently secure. That should also contribute to faster checkout times.

Reader sales rose 78%

Selling payment card readers is part of Square’s hardware business. That revenue grew 78% YoY (year-over-year) to $18 million in the second quarter, powered by strong sales of new readers. That helped propel Square’s overall revenue 47.8% YoY to $814.9 million in the second quarter.

Amazon (AMZN), PayPal (PYPL), and eBay (EBAY) grew their second-quarter revenues 39.3%, 23%, and 9.1% YoY, respectively, in that same period. Revenue rose 43.6% YoY for online lender LendingClub (LC) in the second quarter.

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