Chase takes on Square with its own contactless payment system

Jon Fingas
·Associate Editor
·1-min read

JP Morgan Chase is clearly eager to compete with Square in contactless, app-based store payments. It just launched a Chase-branded Business Complete Banking account with a QuickAccept feature that promises simpler (and crucially, faster) payments for small shops. There’s a reader that supports tap-to-pay, chip and swipe payments along with a mobile app to replace old-fashioned machines. The pricing for the service is just as important, for that matter.

As with Square, payments are flat and transparent — a store pays either 2.6 percent plus 10 cents for every card or tap-based transaction, or 3.5 percent plus 10 cents for manual transactions (such as online sales) through the app. There are no monthly fees for the account if a shop meets one or more minimums for balance or spending, and deposits take place the same day.

This won’t necessarily make sense for every business, but JP Morgan Chase is betting that the straightforward model and technology will help outlets that just want to get started quickly and (hopefully) turn a profit. It could be particularly vital during the pandemic, when paying with cash is risky and stores may need to handle a surge of online sales to stay afloat.

Whether or not it finds an audience isn’t certain. The Chase payment system has the clout of a giant bank in its favor, but Square has been around for years. The new offering may be a tough sell for businesses where Square is virtually synonymous with payment tech. If nothing else, companies will have choices when they modernize.