Continuing its quest to dominate nearly every corner of the retail experience, Amazon.com today unveiled a new $10 credit card reading device called Amazon Local Register.
The card reader and mobile app represents a direct attack on Square, since Amazon is launching with a rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe. That’s a full percentage point below Square’s 2.75 percent rate. Amazon will run the promotional rate through Jan. 2016, at which time it will change to 2.5 percent.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Square was running low on cash, considering a possible sale to Google, Apple, eBay and others. According to the report, Square lost about $100 million last year and has consumed about half of the $340 million in venture capital it has raised.
A business relationship between Square and Starbucks crumbled, with reports that the deal cost Square some $20 million last year.
Square has denied that it is running low on cash, or that it was ever seriously considering a sale to another company. It also says that it is by choice that the company is incurring heavy losses, as it invests in hiring, marketing and new products.
Square was already facing razor thin profit margins for its business, now it faces competition from Amazon, a company that loves competing in businesses where margins are tight.
Amazon calls Local Register the “easiest way for small businesses to get paid,” boasting that the service allows merchants to save more money and get paid faster than other services.
Here’s the full press release from Amazon.
Amazon.com today announced Amazon Local Register, a secure card reader and mobile app that provides local businesses with the tools they need to quickly and easily accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet and keep track of their growing business. Amazon Local Register customers will have access to the Amazon.com award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, as well as in-app tracking tools. Customers who sign up for Amazon Local Register before October 31 will also receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe on all major credit and debit cards until January 1, 2016. Additional details are available at localregister.amazon.com.
“I’m always looking for ways to reduce my business expenses. Amazon Local Register’s low price means that I can invest more in my business, while still ensuring that I’m accepting customer payments safely and securely.”
“From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support,” said Matt Swann, Vice President of Amazon Local Commerce. “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.”
Customers can get started with Amazon Local Register in three simple steps: create an account on localregister.amazon.com, purchase a $10 card reader, and download the free mobile app from Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store or Google Play. Starting today, the card reader is available with Free Two-Day Shipping on Amazon.com. Beginning August 19, customers can also purchase a card reader at Staples retail locations nationwide. The Amazon Local Register card reader and free mobile app are compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and coming soon to the new Fire phone. Each customer’s first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer’s account once Amazon Local Register is in use – allowing customers to fully recoup the cost of the card reader. Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or spent on Amazon.com within minutes – see the website for more details. Amazon Local Register also provides:
—Exceptional value: Amazon Local Register accepts all major credit and debit cards for a low, flat rate with no hidden fees. Plus, there are no long-term contracts. Customers who register before October 31 will receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe until January 1, 2016. Customers who sign up after this promotional period will pay a flat rate of 2.5 percent on all swiped transactions.
—Amazon customer support: Access the award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, available by phone and email. Plus, Kindle Fire HDX owners can take advantage of the Mayday button to connect to an Amazon tech advisor 24 hours a day, 365 days per year – for free.
Secure and stabilized card reader: A stabilized card reader limits swivel, making it easier to swipe once and go. Plus, each transaction is backed by the same services that securely power Amazon.com purchases.
—Business tracking tools: In-app reporting enables a business to quickly check bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more. All reporting is easily accessible from a smartphone or tablet and is password-protected.
—Compatible accessories: Shop for compatible accessories including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands. Find everything needed to build a point-of-sale system including massive selection, available at the best price, all on Amazon.com.
Early users of Amazon Local Register share their experiences:
“Amazon Local Register has simplified, organized and improved efficiency for my business. The feature I am most impressed with is the outstanding customer support I receive any time I have a question or for whatever help I need. The reports are easy to understand and help me figure out how my business is performing.” Erin H, hair & makeup artist
“I’m always looking for ways to reduce my business expenses. Amazon Local Register’s low price means that I can invest more in my business, while still ensuring that I’m accepting customer payments safely and securely.” Kevin L, gallery and event venue owner
“My customers used to always ask if they could pay with a credit card and I always said no, as it always seemed too complicated to set up. It was easy to get started with Amazon Local Register, and taking payments is a breeze. My customers are VERY happy and prefer to pay with their card. Another benefit is that I don’t have to deal with going to the bank to deposit cash and checks.” Jannine H, massage therapist
About Amazon Local Register
Amazon Local Register, a service of Amazon Payments, Inc., is a mobile point-of-sale solution that allows you to accept credit and debit card transactions from a smartphone or tablet. Find more details at localregister.amazon.com.
Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.