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Square Brings Mobile Payments to Australia

Payments company Square expanded to its fourth market on Monday, debuting its credit card readers and point of sale devices in Australia. Square (SQ) also operates in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

The news comes just days before Square will release its first earnings report since its highly anticipated initial public offering in November.

Square launched in 2009 when Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey introduced a sleek, white credit-card reader that lets anyone with an iPhone or Android smartphone accept credit card payments. The company, which competes with established point of sale providers like Oracle’s Micros devices, has since expanded its line of readers to iPads, and has also been steadily adding business services like payroll software and data crunching.

In Australia, Square’s reader will cost $19, and merchants will be charged 1.9% per transaction. In the U.S., Square offers its card readers for free, and sells full-sized registers for as much $99. The company charges U.S. merchants 2.75% per transaction.

Square has not yet rolled out its new contactless payment reader to Australia. U.S. merchants can buy Square’s new chip card and NFC readers for $49.

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The device also allows consumers to use Apple’s mobile payments technology, Apple Pay, in stores with a Square register point-of-sale system. Apple Pay, which launched in Australia earlier this year, allows shoppers with iOS devices to use their phone to pay for goods and services in the U.S., U.K., and a number of other countries, at point-of-sale locations equipped with NFC.

The Sydney Herald Tribune noted that contactless payments are frequently used in Australia, between 60–70% of Visa and MasterCard transactions using NFC technology.