Square, Intuit, and PayPal are just some of the popular mobile POS systems that utilize magnetic stripe card readers. These readers work simply by plugging straight into the iPhone’s headphone jack. As of this month, Apple decided to officially remove that very headphone jack to make way for a larger battery, camera stabilizer, and HD stereo speaker. But in doing so, Apple has left thousands of business owners with their hands in the air wondering what they’re supposed to do now.
For those business owners who find themselves in this predicament, there are a few options available to them. Some mobile systems though, such as Square, only offer a limited number of temporary solutions to combat Apple’s recent move.
The majority of mobile POS users are facing switching costs in the forms of upgrading point of sale systems, changing cellphones and providers, or even a combination of both. What might feel like a drastic financial expense for a business, may actually be an opportunity to invest and grow. For many small businesses that have outgrown their simple payment device, Apple’s announcement has served as the push they needed to upgrade to a full point of sale solution. Robust features like full inventory management, comprehensive reporting, and detailed customer accounts are crucial for small business owners — and these features are simply not available on mobile payment devices.
For those Square users who aren’t looking to upgrade into a full POS system, some short term solutions exist. Square is now offering a new contactless reader that allows users to wirelessly run transactions via Bluetooth. For only $49, it’s a cheap solution that also supports EMV chip cards and Apple Pay. Another alternative solution is the Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, which will work with Square’s current reader. For only $6.99, it’s another solution that won’t break the bank, and it’s also included with the purchase of the new iPhone 7.
If you’re currently using any form of mobile payment with your iPhone, or were planning on integrating a mobile POS system into your business, make sure you do your research on whether or not the system you’re favoring has options available to combat this most recent Apple move.