Last month, we heard that Amazon was readying its own card reader, which would compete with Square. Now, the company has officially unveiled it, and it's called Amazon Local Register.
Like Square, It enables local businesses to accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet. Luckily, Amazon has elected not to make it exclusive to its own smartphone and tablets. In fact, it's not even available for the Fire phone yet (though it will be soon).
It comes with a mobile app and Amazon customer support - the same services, in fact, which power Amazon.com purchases. Kindle Fire HDX can use the Mayday button for it.
The app comes with reporting tools so businesses can look at bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times, etc.
“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.”
The app is available in the Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, and Google Play. Customers who sign up before October 31st get a rate of 1.75% on swiped transactions until 2016. The rate for those who sign up after October 31st will be 2.5%. Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within a single business day or spent on Amazon.com "within minutes".
The card reader costs $10 and comes with free 2-day shipping from the company. It will hit Staples on August 19th. The app is free. There are no long-term contracts, and customers' first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to their account once Amazon Local Register is in use, so that will will obviously make up for the cost of the reader itself.
Amazon also offers accessories like cases, stands, receipt printers, and cash drawers. These can all be found from the Local Register site.
The branding of this product - Amazon Local Register - is noteworthy, as the company is also testing an Amazon Local Services offering, which lets people find local businesses using Amazon. Amazon Local itself, of course, offers deals.
It's a good thing Square has had some time to gain some brand cred and get in the hands of many small businesses, because Amazon will likely leave a significant mark in the space.
Image via Amazon