Detailed in a press release earlier today, the company responsible for creating the Square credit card reader has made another big launch on the retail front today. The reader can now be purchased at 7,000 Walgreens stores around the nation as well as 1,500 FedEx Office stores and 1,500 Staples locations. Already available at large retail establishments like Apple, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, OfficeMax, Radio Shack and Target, the Square Card Reader allows anyone to accept a credit card payment when connected to a mobile device like an Android phone or tablet as well as the iPhone and iPad.The device retails for $9.95, but Square provides a $10 credit to all new users in order to cover the initial purchase cost.
While Square’s continued push out to retail establishments is giving the company a strategic advantage over the competition, there are other card readers that are competing with Square’s credit card reader. Verifone recently launched a similar device called Sail Payments that also plugs into an iPad or iPhone.
While the company offers a nearly identical fee structure as Square’s 2.7 percent charge per transaction, they also offer a plan that only charges users 1.99 percent per transaction in addition to a $9.95 monthly fee. For a small business owner that completes a vast quantity of transactions each month, the lower fee structure would likely be advantageous to their profitability.
PayPal is also planning to launch a credit card reader worldwide and is currently beta testing the triangle shaped PayPal Here device in the United States, Japan and Europe. While the fee structure is identical to Sail Payments, PayPal Here also offers users the option of paying with a PayPal balance. However, funds from all types of transactions have to be routed through a PayPal account which can take up to three days. Square will transfer all funds to a user’s bank account in an overnight transaction.