Amazon has tossed its proverbial hat into the mobile card-reading ring. The retailer has launched Local Register, a Square and Paypal competitor that uses a free app and a $10 card reader.
The device charges merchants a 1.75 percent per swipe transaction fee for those who sign up before Oct. 31, a fee that's lower than Square's 2.75 percent per swipe transaction. Following the special rate, Amazon will return to a 2.5 percent per transaction fee on Jan. 1, 2016.
"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," Matt Swann, Vice President of Amazon Local Commerce, said in a press release. "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."
It's no secret Amazon wants to attract customers away from the competition as fast as possible. Local Register, besides its low prices, features a swivel-limiting design and Amazon's customer support, while the Local Register app provides business info, including data on sales and overall performance. And if that's not enough, Amazon plans to provide a slew of accessories, including cash drawers, receipt printers, and stands and mounts for mobile device—all of which could move sellers to exclusively use Amazon products.
Of course, it won't be an easy fight. Square has recently announced it's developing an EMV chip card reader, an advanced tool popular in Europe, giving it a slight step ahead of Amazon's master plan.