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Intuit and Verizon Wireless announced this morning that they will be partnering to offer Intuit’s GoPayment mobile card reader in Verizon stores, bringing the device to more than 2,300 retail locations across the US.
Aside from the obvious benefit of more widespread availability, the partnership shines some much-needed light on Intuit’s two-year-old GoPayment technology. GoPayment launched a year before the more hyped mobile payment startup Square. which has made its tiny mobile credit card reader synonymous with mobile payments.
Intuit’s GoPayment credit card reader slides into your phone or tablet’s headphone jack (yes, just like Square’s), and works together with a free app to accept payments. It opens the door for you to take payments anywhere, which could be particularly useful for small business owners. GoPayment supports iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. It can also synchronize with Intuit’s QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online accounting software, a major plus compared to Square.
As part of the partnership, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to get the GoPayment credit card reader for free when they activate their GoPayment account and mail in a $29.97 rebate. Intuit would have been better off figuring out another way to offer the discount to customers, since a mail-in rebate isn’t as tempting to consumers as an instant discount.
Square, on the other hand, has offered its mobile card reader for free from the start, which has likely accounted for its massive growth and hype. Square’s card reader is also sold at Apple stores for $10, but you instantly get that money back when you sign up for a Square account.
There’s no monthly or transaction fee for the basic GoPayment service, but you will get charged 2.7 percent for swiped transactions. For heavy users, Intuit also offers a $12.95 a month plan with a 1.7 percent rate for swipe transactions. Verizon Wireless users will receive two free months of the monthly plan when they sign up. GoPayment can also support up to 50 users on a single account.