American Express and payments technology company Square have announced a new partnership in Australia, which will help deliver mobile-enabled commerce for more of Australia’s businesses.

As part of the agreement, all businesses with a Square Reader will automatically be set up to process American Express transactions. With American Express Card Members spending, on average, a third more than other credit card users, the partnership between the two brands will add an important boost to businesses that traditionally haven’t accepted American Express transactions.

Square Reader, which retails for $19, plugs into compatible mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Due to its low cost and simplicity, it is anticipated Square Reader will have enormous appeal among small businesses, especially those that haven’t historically accepted card payments.

Accepting American Express transactions through the Square Reader will cost the same rate as all other credit and debit cards, with no additional monthly fees or paperwork for a business.

Daniel Parsons, vice president of American Express Global Merchant Services said: “American Express believes it’s critical to be at the forefront of seamless and innovative payment solutions and the Square Reader represents a fantastic new payment innovation making Card acceptance even easier for all types of business.”

The use of non-cash payment methods is continuing to rise strongly. Overall, Australians on average made around 400 non-cash transactions per person in 2014/15, up from 210 transactions a decade ago. Card payments account for almost two-thirds of these payments.

According to Parsons, based on these figures, it’s essential for businesses to be able to provide their customers with choice in how they pay.

“Businesses that accept a variety of payment options provide a service that today’s customers expect. At American Express, we’re focused on growing our acceptance across Australia to ensure we are where our Card Members want us to be.

Ben Pfisterer, Australian country manager of Square said: “With the launch of Square Reader, Australian business owners can start accepting card payments via one low rate across all card types, without long contracts or hidden fees. Paired with a powerful ecosystem of products from integrated card payments to a powerful point of sale, analytics, reporting tools, inventory management, online invoices and digital receipts, using Square can help businesses start, run and grow. Square is excited to open up American Express acceptance to more businesses across Australia.”

American Express has a partnership with Square in markets around the world, including the US, Canada and Japan where the Square Reader has already launched. In the US, the device has proved popular with independent sellers who want a simple and low cost alternative to a traditional payment terminal.

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