Square promised us a cashless world with its credit card reader and digital wallet — but so far, it hasn’t really delivered. Now, another challenger has entered the digital payments arena.
Amazon’s own credit card reader, which has been rumored for some time, is finally out of the shadows: Say hello to the Amazon Local Register.
Here’s the skinny:
- Amazon will charge 1.75 percent per transaction, lower than both Square (2.75 percent) and PayPal (2.7 percent), though this is an introductory offer only valid until Jan. 1, 2016 for signups before Oct. 31, 2014 (it’s then going up to 2.5 percent). The only competitor that rivals its rate currently is Intuit at 1.75 , though customers must sign up for a monthly service in order to get that rate.
- The reader’s app is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad), only Samsung’s Galaxy S devices on the Android side, and for its own Kindle Fire HD tablets — no Fire Phone in sight for now.
- The reader costs $10, although Amazon is offering to refund $10 in transaction fees.
- Amazon is offering a bundle: a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ tablet and a reader for $379.
- It’s initially only available in the U.S.
While Square is only available in the U.S. and the U.K., Europe has iZettle and PayLeven, and other alternatives exist in the rest of the world, making it an important question as to whether Amazon will be able to expand globally and potentially overtake Square and the others.
Amazon recently released a digital wallet, although it’s only limited to virtual gift, membership, and loyalty cards — no debit or credit cards.