Amazon's new credit card reader: like a cash register in your pocket

Square might have started the portable card reader movement – but Amazon plans to undercut everyone

Amazon seems to be quite busy rolling out new marketplaces and offerings. Though its Fire Phone hasn't exactly set the world, er, on fire, that hasn't stopped it from making new devices, including what it calls the Amazon Local Register.

It's a credit card reader that works with iOS and Android. Plug it onto your smartphone or tablet and, hey presto, you can accept credit card payments for whatever you're selling. This is quite the boon for small startups or businesses who find it too expensive to otherwise get a credit card payment system. Square is actually the pioneer in mobile card payments, but Amazon's device happens to charge much less for its service.

Undercutting, the Amazon way

While Square charges 2.75 percent per transaction and PayPal charges 2.5 percent, Amazon is offering 1.75 percent until 1st January 2016. Sellers will have to register by 31st October to qualify for the offer, though. But even once the period is over, Amazon's regular 2.5 percent rate is still cheaper than or equal to its competitors.

Even manually keying in transactions will set sellers back 2.75 percent while Square and PayPal charge 3.5 percent and an additional US$0.15.

Sadly for those in Europe and Asia, the device seems to be a US-only offering – at least at first. Which makes you wonder how long it will take for local outfits to come up with a similar operation.

Amazon's dedicated Local Register marketplace sells more than card readers. It also sells other inventory for wannabe entrepeneurs, including a cash drawer, receipt printers and its very own Kindle Fire tablet bundle.

[Source: Engadget]

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