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Square Buys Kili Technology For Payment Hardware; HQ To Become Toronto Office

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Mobile payments and retail tech company Square has acquired Kili Technology, a Toronto-based startup specializing in silicon, electronic and software design for improvement payment processing. The newly-acquired company will remain in Toronto, which will now act as a second Canadian office for Square, which had previously opened its country HQ in Waterloo, home of one of the most-respected engineering schools in North America.

Kili is made up of a team of payment industry veterans, including co-founder’s Greg Wolfond (who founded his first financial software company in 1983 and exited to IBM in 1995) and Afshin Rezayee (whose previous experience includes secure electronics design at SecureKey and other companies). The company produces custom system-on-chips aimed at providing FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) level security with embedded NFC transmission features, which is perfect for in-store terminal deployment purposes in retail operations.

It also holds a variety of patents and intellectual property rights regarding related tech, creates firmware for payment hardware OEMs, and has created reference designs for software, firmware, applications and other mobile point-of-sale technologies.

The acquisition brings some top-notch hardware and technical security chops to Square’s team, which could help expand its offerings in terms of merchant-side infrastructure for supporting mobile payments, and Kili brings expertise in EMV tech as well.