Build on Android

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Requirements and limitations

  • You have a Square account enabled for payment processing. If you haven't enabled payment processing on your account (or you're not sure), visit

  • Your application minSdkVersion is API 24 (Android 7) or later.

  • Your application targetSdkVersion is API 33 (Android 13) or earlier.

  • Your application compileSdkVersion is 32.

  • Your application uses AndroidX or enables Jetifier in

  • You're using the Android Gradle Plugin version 3.0.0 or later. The Reader SDK might work with 2.3.0 or later, but stability isn't guaranteed.

  • Your application uses Google Play Services version 16.0.1. Square cannot guarantee that the SDK works with different versions of these libraries.

  • You're not using Proguard for code optimization. Compressing the Reader SDK binary removes critical bytecode elements and results in runtime errors.

  • Your version of the Reader SDK adheres to the Square update policy. To limit risk to developers and their users, Square enforces a Reader SDK update policy requiring developers keep their version of the Reader SDK current.

  • You're generally familiar with developing applications on Android. If you're new to Android development, you should read the Getting Started Guide on the Android Developers site before continuing.


    The Reader SDK isn't supported on Android versions earlier than API 19 (Android 4.4).

To complete the following steps, you need:

  • Your application ID - Find your application ID on the Credentials page of your Square application in the Developer Dashboard.
  • Your Reader SDK repository password - Find your Reader SDK repository password on the Reader SDK page of your Square application in the Developer Dashboard.
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Device permissions

To work with Square Readers, applications must have the following device permissions. If the required device permissions aren't granted when the checkout flow initiates, the Reader SDK prompts the user to grant the necessary permissions.

Android device permissionPurpose
LocationTo confirm that payments are occurring in a supported country.
AudioTo connect Magstripe Readers.
BluetoothTo connect Contactless Readers.
Device StorageTo store information during checkout.
Phone AccessTo identify the device sending information to Square servers.
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Device compatibility

The Reader SDK isn't compatible to run on custom devices from OEMs that violate Square's security rules or on devices that grant root access to the mobile device operating system code and kernel. As a result, these devices cannot connect to a Contactless and Chip Reader.

The following additional considerations apply when trying to run the SDK on custom devices:

  • The Reader SDK cannot run on custom operating systems.
  • The Reader SDK isn't supported to run on rooted or jailbroken devices.
  • Square prohibits using any software that provides the ability to record or capture screen data or that results in elevated privileges.
  • Square recommends running the Reader SDK on devices from large mobile device manufacturers such as Google, Samsung, or HTC.
  • Avoid running on devices from smaller OEMs because there's no guarantee that they comply with Square's required security standards.
  • Verify that your device is supported (see Devices Compatible with the Square Magstripe and Chip Card Readers).
  • Supported OS versions should be the latest or as close to the latest as possible.
  • Review Square's support window for the OS version and confirm support for the compilation target version and the runtime version: The compilation target currently supports versions 21 to 30. For runtime, the supported versions are 21 to 31.

If the mobile application runs on an uncommon device manufacturer, be sure to test connecting to the Square Reader over Bluetooth before investing in the device.

The following steps are recommended to verify your device:

  1. Test the device with any expected software requirements before committing to using it for the Reader SDK.
  2. Review Square's version support window.
  3. Ensure that you can pair the device with the Reader SDK using Bluetooth.
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1. Request Reader SDK credentials

  1. Open the Developer Dashboard. You're prompted to sign in or create an account.

  2. Create a Square application.

  3. Choose the new application to open the Square application settings pages.

  4. Open the Reader SDK page, and then choose Request Credentials to generate your Reader SDK repository password.

    A graphic showing the Reader SDK page in the Developer Dashboard with the generated Reader SDK repository password.

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2. Configure Gradle for the Reader SDK

  1. Update the file in the root folder of your project to increase the maximum heap size provided to the Gradle daemon and set variables for the Square application ID and repository password.
  1. Add the Reader SDK variables from your properties file and confirm that the Google repository is set properly in the build.gradle file of your :app module.

    a. Update the file.


    b. Add the Reader SDK variables.

    repositories { google() maven { url "" credentials { username SQUARE_READER_SDK_APPLICATION_ID password SQUARE_READER_SDK_REPOSITORY_PASSWORD } } mavenCentral() }
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3. Configure the build dependencies

Did you know?

If you run into compile errors, make sure that you're using AndroidX across all your dependencies by running ./gradlew app:dependencies.

The Reader SDK and its dependencies contain more than 65,000 methods, so your build script must enable multidex. If your minSdkVersion is earlier than API 21, you need to include the multidex dependency.

  1. Connect the Reader SDK to a Square Contactless Reader to accept chip and tap payments.

    android { defaultConfig { minSdkVersion 21 targetSdkVersion 31 multiDexEnabled true } } dependencies { // Add this dependency if your minSdkVersion < 21 implementation 'androidx.multidex:multidex:2.0.0' // ... }
  1. Add a compile option to support Java version 1.8 in the build.gradle file for your :app module.

    android { // ... compileOptions { sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8 targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8 } // ... }
  1. Configure the multidex options.

    android { // ... dexOptions { // Ensures incremental builds remain fast preDexLibraries true // Required to build with Reader SDK jumboMode true // Required to build with Reader SDK keepRuntimeAnnotatedClasses false } // ... }
  1. Add the Reader SDK dependencies.

    dependencies { def readerSdkVersion = "1.7.4" implementation "com.squareup.sdk.reader:reader-sdk-$SQUARE_READER_SDK_APPLICATION_ID:$readerSdkVersion" runtimeOnly "com.squareup.sdk.reader:reader-sdk-internals:$readerSdkVersion" // ... }
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4. Extend the Android Application class

  1. Create an Application class that extends and specify the android:name property for the <application> node in AndroidManifest.xml. For more information, see Understanding the Android Application Class on Codepath.

  2. Import and initialize the Reader SDK.

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5. Add code to request and use a mobile authorization code

To authorize the SDK, you must build an authorization service to retrieve a mobile authorization code with the Mobile Authorization API and return it to your application.

Mobile authorization codes are short lived and should be used immediately to authorize the Reader SDK. Authorization is valid until it's explicitly revoked by calling deauthorize or your application fails to take a payment within 90 days. Mobile authorization codes don't need to be manually refreshed under normal operations.

Create a new AuthorizeActivity with two skeleton functions (retrieveAuthorizationCode() and onAuthorizationCodeRetrieved()), and then customize them to call your authorization service.

Did you know?

You can also generate mobile authorization codes manually with a command-line tool. For more information, see Request a Mobile Authorization Code on the Command Line.

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6. Add code to handle authorization results

  1. Add a callback (onAuthorizeResult()) to the Authorization Manager in the onCreate method of your authorization activity using AuthorizationManager.addAuthorizeCallback().
  2. Implement the onAuthorizeResult() callback. AuthorizeCallback.onResult() is invoked asynchronously on the main thread with a Result object. The result includes the authorized Location (in case of success) or a ResultError (in case of error).
  3. Add code to clear the callback reference in your onDestroy() method to avoid memory leaks.
  1. Add the onAuthorizeResult callback to the Authorization Manager.

  2. Implement the onAuthorizeResult() callback.

  3. Clear the callback reference in your onDestroy() method.

    public class AuthorizeActivity extends Activity { // ... @Override protected void onDestroy() { super.onDestroy(); authorizeCallbackRef.clear(); } }
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7. Create a CheckoutActivity

Create a new activity, CheckoutActivity, with a button that calls startCheckout() to begin the checkout flow.

Did you know?

The Checkout activity is a good place to add a button that starts the contactless reader connect flow. A Square contactless reader cannot be connected until the Reader SDK is authorized. Authorization is completed in step 6, which means you can now connect a reader. For information about connecting a reader, see Connect a Contactless Reader.

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8. Add code to start the checkout flow

  1. Implement the startCheckout() method by adding code to build the CheckoutParameters object and configure the checkout experience. The following code uses CurrencyCode#current to obtain the currency code of the authorized location and set CASH as one of the additional tender types, which lets you test payments without charging a card.
  2. Add a callback (onCheckoutResult()) to the Checkout Manager in the onCreate method of CheckoutActivity using CheckoutManager.addCheckoutActivityCallback.
  3. Add code to clear the checkout callback reference in your onDestroy() method to avoid memory leaks.
  1. Implement the startCheckout() method.

    public class CheckoutActivity extends Activity { // ... private CallbackReference checkoutCallbackRef; private void startCheckout() { CheckoutManager checkoutManager = ReaderSdk.checkoutManager(); Money amountMoney = new Money(100, CurrencyCode.current()); CheckoutParameters.Builder parametersBuilder = CheckoutParameters.newBuilder(amountMoney); if (BuildConfig.DEBUG) { parametersBuilder.additionalPaymentTypes(AdditionalPaymentType.CASH); } checkoutManager.startCheckoutActivity(this,; } }
  2. Add onCheckoutResult() to the Checkout Manager.

    @Override protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) { // ... CheckoutManager checkoutManager = ReaderSdk.checkoutManager(); checkoutCallbackRef = checkoutManager.addCheckoutActivityCallback(this::onCheckoutResult); } }
  3. Clear the checkout callback reference in your onDestroy() method.

    public class CheckoutActivity extends Activity { // ... @Override protected void onDestroy() { super.onDestroy(); checkoutCallbackRef.clear(); } }
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9. Add code to handle checkout results

Implement the onCheckoutResult callback to parse the checkout response. CheckoutActivityCallback.onResult() is invoked asynchronously on the main thread with a Result object. The result includes the CheckoutResult (in case of success) or a ResultError (in case of error).

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See also