New mobile payment tool for on-the-go RMTs, small businesses

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press
August 15, 2014
By Mae Anderson, The Associated Press
Massage therapists have a new convenient option for processing client payments. Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones and tablets. The move places the largest U.S. e-commerce retailer in competition with Square and other established mobile payment processing systems such as PayPal Here and Intuit's GoPayment.
Amazon's technology includes a card reader that attaches to a smartphone, Kindle or tablet. The reader processes credit or debit card payments via a secure Amazon network, the same one that processes Amazon.com purchases. The service is designed to serve on-the-go small business owners who might otherwise only accept cash or checks, including massage therapists, food truck operators and artists who sell their work at outdoor fairs.

Small businesses can start using Local Register by creating an account on http://localregister.amazon.com. Businesses must buy Amazon's card reader for $10, and download the free mobile app from the Amazon app store, the Apple app store or Google Play. The app works on most smartphones and tablets, including the Kindle Fire.

For customers who sign up for the service by Oct. 31, Amazon will take as its fee 1.75 per cent of each payment processed, or each “swipe” of the card, a special rate that will last until Jan. 1, 2016. For people who sign up after Oct. 31, Amazon will take a service fee of 2.5 per cent of each payment processed.

The first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer, essentially paying for the card reader.

Square, the competing mobile payment system, takes a fee of 2.75 per cent of each transaction. PayPal Here takes 2.7 per cent of each transaction and Intuit's GoPayment rates start at 1.75 per cent per transaction if businesses pay a $19.95 monthly rate or 2.4 per cent of each transaction without a monthly payment.

“I've actually heard some business owners say the only thing that would make them change (point of sale) systems is cost savings,” said Matt Swann, vice-president of local commerce for Amazon.

“Payments are hard and that's one of the things that gets in the way of serving customers, especially for small businesses,” Swann said. “Payment tools need to be inexpensive, simple and trusted to get the job done.”

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

No events