Amazon Enters the Mobile Payment Game

You know those little on-the-go payment devices that connect to a smartphone or tablet? The ones local business owners use to take credit and debit card payments? Well, just a few days ago, Amazon released their own version: the Amazon Local Register Secure Card Reader.

Like the Square, the Local Register connects seamlessly to your phone or tablet and processes payments through a free downloadable app. Sounds the same, right? The kicker is that Amazon’s device is less expensive for local businesses than its competitors.

Featuring a 1.75% payment process fee on all major cards, the Amazon Local Register costs business owners significantly less than Square (2.75%) or PayPal (2.7%). Amazon’s fee will increase to 2.5% after October 31st, but even then it’s the most affordable option.

Furthermore, the Local Register device costs just $10 to purchase, but the company covers your first $10 in processing fees — so it’s essentially free. What’s more, reports and customer reviews say that the Amazon processor has a higher success rate when it comes to reading the card. Where it may take the Square four swipes for a proper card read, for example, it takes the Local Register just two.

On the other hand, most customer reviews haven’t been so hot. Still new, the product only has two stars. In regard to the free app, one reviewer said, “The app still feels like its in beta form.”

The initiative is young yet and I have no doubt that Amazon’s developers will quickly smooth out each and every problem – and probably come up with some new features in the mean time.

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