Amazon Dives into mPOS Market (Aug. 13, 2014)
There’s a new player in the mPOS arena—and it’s a heavyweight. Retail giant Amazon today announced Amazon Local Register, a card reader and companion mobile app targeted for use by small businesses. The Local Register reader is compatible with Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices, iPhone and select Android devices. The app is available for download from Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store and Google Play.
Rumored since Amazon’s acquisition of mPOS services provider GoPago late last year, the company’s entry into the market is a clear shot across the bow of established players Square and PayPal Here. In an effort to give Local Register a leg up against the competition, the service is launching with aggressive pricing; customers who sign up by Oct. 31 will pay swipe transaction fees of 1.75 percent until year-end. After that, the rate increases to 2.5 percent per swipe. Square charges retailers 2.75 percent, while PayPal Here users pay a 2.7 percent fee. Fees for manually keyed transactions also are lower with Local Market. The card reader is available starting today with free two-day shipping from Amazon.com and will be sold in Staples stores starting Aug. 19. The dongle’s $10 cost will be refunded by crediting users’ first $10 in transaction fees back to their accounts.
Local Register is perhaps the biggest move yet in Amazon’s push to expand into brick-and-mortar commerce. Along with the GoPago acquisition, the company last month launched a mobile wallet app for managing and redeeming gift cards in-store, and Amazon’s new Fire smartphone will enable users to scan physical products into online shopping carts.
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