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Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes

Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer

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Amazon has launched its own mobile payments device and app at a starting price that undercuts existing tech from Square and PayPal.

Youtube Video

Amazon’s “Local Register” popped up in a YouTube video and a dedicated site online before the mega etailer officially announced it.

Anyone who signs up to the secure card reader by the end of October will get the low transaction fee cost of 1.75 per cent per swiped, far below Square’s 2.75 per cent and PayPal Here’s 2.7 per cent. The deal lasts until December 2015, when transactions will start costing 2.5 per cent, significantly closer to its competitors, but still lower.

The firm is promising deposits into bank accounts on the next business day, or the opportunity to spend money within minutes on the mega etailer’s website.

“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,” said Matt Swann, veep of Amazon Local Commerce, in a statement.

So far, the accompanying mobile app is only available for iOS on models no older than the iPhone 4 and iPad and just Samsung’s Galaxy S3 - S5 Android mobes and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire HD tablets. The card reader costs $10 upfront, which is then refunded to the retailer in transaction fees.

The initial launch covers the US, but it’s likely that Amazon will want to spread the service to all of its markets. Square currently operates in the US, Canada and Japan and PayPal Here is available in the US and the UK. ®

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