Amazon Launches Bank Card Reader And Smartphone App For US SMBs

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Amazon Local Register promises to offer SMBs a flexible point-of-sale system to compete with PayPal and Square

Amazon has launched a card reader and mobile application for small businesses, allowing them to handle non-cash payments on tablets or smartphones in the US, while supported by the same security and customer service features offered on the retail giant’s own website.

The Amazon Local Register card reader costs $10 online, and will soon be available from US retailer Staples, with the price of the device deducted from customers’ first $10 worth of transaction fees.

Those who sign up before 31 October are guaranteed a promotional processing fee rate of 1.75 percent until 1 January 2016, with the standard rate being 2.5 percent. Amazon says that even the full rate offers “exceptional value” as there are no hidden charges or long term contracts.

Amazon Local Register

“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,” says Matt Swann, vice president of Amazon Local Commerce.

Amazon Local Register 2The Amazon Local Register application is available on iOS and Android, and provides business tracking tools that allow SMBs to identify sales trends and peak times. The company also offers a range of compatible accessories, such as cash drawers, receipt printers and cases, so customers can create a full point-of-sale system easily.

“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,” adds Swann.

The move brings Amazon into direct competition with the Square electronic payment service,  the project of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and PayPal, which launched its own smartphone based payment system, PayPal Here last year.

Amazon has told TechWeekEurope there are currently no plans to bring Amazon Local Register to the UK.

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