Square Mobile Payments System Expands To Japan

Square has been trying to shake up old-fashioned mobile payments in the U.S. and Canada, but hasn't expanded internationally until now.

Square, the mobile payment platform making waves in retail, is launching in Japan with the support of the Sumitomo Mitsui Card Corporation. The Japan service will feature the same software, hardware and attractive no-contract/3.25% cut transaction service it uses in the U.S.

An international expansion is likely key to Square's future, but is full of potential difficulties due to the more advanced smartphone-based payment systems that exist outside the U.S. Japanese consumers, for example, have long been used to advanced payment services including NFC, and are poised to be able to use their NFC systems overseas.

Perhaps this is why Square's promotional photo for the Japanese launch features a Japanese credit card with an embedded chip being processed through Square's tiny reader device. Square can only read the low-security magnetic strip that is so easily exploited by fraudsters, instead of accessing the higher security chip-and-PIN tech. Meanwhile high-tech European Square rivals are expanding fast.

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