Amazon launches mobile payment app and card reader

13 Aug 2014

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Amazon Local Register involves the use of an app and card reader

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E-commerce giant Amazon has taken the wraps off a new mobile payment service for businesses in the US to accept credit and debit-card transactions from a tablet or smartphone.

The new payment service, called Amazon Local Register, requires users to download a free app onto their mobile device and to attach their device to Amazon’s card reader, thus linking it to the app.

The app is available to download for free from the Amazon Appstore, the Apple App Store or Google Play. Businesses can also use the app to check bottom-line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more, Amazon said.

The card reader can be purchased from Amazon.com for US$10, and it will also be on sale at Staples stores beginning 19 August.  

Amazon will credit users for the first US$10 in transaction fees, allowing them to recoup the cost of the reader.

Users who sign up for Amazon Local Register before 31 October will receive a promotional transaction rate of 1.75pc per swipe until 1 January, 2016. After that, users will pay a flat rate of 2.5pc on all swiped transactions.

Money from transactions using the service can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or spent on Amazon.com, the company said.

Tina held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto

editorial@siliconrepublic.com