Look out, Square! Amazon is moving into the mobile payment space with its own card reader called Local Register. Amazon is already one of the biggest online retailers and now it looks as though the company wants to take on purchases in the real world, too.
Just like Square, PayPal, and other companies’ card readers, Amazon’s Local Register plugs into your smartphone’s headphone jack. From there, customers can swipe their credit or debit cards through the card reader to pay for their purchases. The bill and other key information show up in the Local Register app on your smartphone or tablet. The app also provides merchants with information about sales, how business is going, and other business-friendly tools.
The app is available on the Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store. However, the card reader only works on devices running iOS 7 and select Android smartphones at the moment. Amazon says that Local Register works with the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4. It’s also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S5. When it comes to tablets, the selection is even more limited to include only the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD and HDX, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and HDX, iPad, and iPad Mini.
To encourage merchants to leave Square or PayPal behind in favor of Local Register, it’s offering a promotional processing fee of 1.75 percent, which is much lower than the standard 2.75 percent Square charges for swiped transactions and the 2.7 percent PayPal Here charges. Of course, the promotion is only available for those who buy Amazon’s card reader before October 31. The low rate ends on December 31, 2015, when Amazon bumps it up to its standard rate of 2.5 percent, which is still cheaper than its competitors.
Transactions that are keyed in and not done with a swipe will cost users a bit more at 2.75 percent. Still, Amazon’s offer is less than the 3.5 percent + $0.15 offered by Square and PayPal for similar transactions.
The Amazon card reader is available now from the company’s online store for just $10 and is eligible for 1-day shipping. If you want to learn more about it first, you can check out Amazon’s website for Local Register here.