Shopify launches a free, in-house designed card reader

Shopify has designed its own hardware for the first time, building out a design team and coming up with a unique approach to the simple card reader, that most basic tool in the real-world merchant’s arsenal. The new chip and swipe card reader makes its official debut at Shopify’s Unite developer conference in San Francisco today, and it’s device with a superficial simplicity that only hints at how much care went into the design process.

From around 2013 onwards, Shopify began paying close attention to how much of its online seller customer base began selling in person, via pop-up shops and also via small shops set up in their home towns. That year, it released Shopify POS for the first time, and the key difference in that was the hardware component. Shopify was happy to rely…

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