Amazon Launches Mobile Credit Card Reader
Amazon has taken big steps to expand its business in 2014, releasing both a mobile wallet and a smartphone. Now the company is making another significant move by offering a mobile credit card reader for offline purchases.
Amazon’s mobile credit card reader, called the Amazon Local Register, works much like Square and PayPal Here. It allows merchants to accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet. It plugs into the headset jack of these devices, working in conjunction with a free app that businesses can download to their phones. A simple swipe on the card reader, and the phone instantly turns into a credit or debit card machine.
Amazon may be a little slow to the market with a mobile card reader, but the retail giant is trying to make up for that with low introductory transaction rates. Until January 1, 2016, Amazon will only charge a 1.75% transaction fee per charge for any account that signs up by October 31, 2014. This compares very favorably to the 2.75% charged by Square and PayPal. This may give businesses and individuals who have not yet used mobile card readers an incentive to sign up with Amazon.
The card reader costs $10, but Amazon will waive the first $10 in credit card fees on the account. This effectively makes the reader free.
“We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love – serving their customers and growing their business,” said Matt Swann, Vice President of Amazon Local Commerce in a statement.