Amazon Unveils Mobile Point-of-Sale20 Aug, 2014 By: Doug McPherson
SEATTLE – Amazon has announced a new point-of-sale service that combines a mobile app with a credit card reader so businesses can process transactions via smartphones and tablets.
The service, called Amazon Local Register, makes Amazon a direct competitor to Square and PayPal. Amazon’s new system charges businesses 2.5 percent for each transaction compared to 2.75 percent for Square Register and 2.7 percent for PayPal Here.
And Amazon is offering a promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe on credit and debit cards until Jan. 1, 2016. After that, the rate will rise to 2.5 percent.
Matt Swann, vice president, Amazon Local Commerce, says Amazon’s goal is 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.”
Jordan McKee, a senior analyst with 451 Research, says the move is about Amazon’s push to “expand its empire into offline retail. Less than 10 percent of transactions occur online. The real opportunity is at brick and mortar locations.”
Leo Sun, a writer with BusinessInsider.com, agrees and says Amazon’s grand plan is to combine its massive E-commerce presence with brick-and-mortar businesses into a single, seamless payment ecosystem.
“With brick-and-mortar stores, Local Register is a simple idea that could spread like wildfire, since the average POS system can cost up to $1,500 and even more to upgrade,” Sun says. “In addition to the card reader, Amazon is also selling accessories, such as cash drawers, receipt printers and stands, so small businesses can assemble a modular, buy-what-you-need POS system.”
Sun adds that an interesting aspect of Local Register is that while funds are transferred into a seller’s bank account the next business day, they immediately become available on Amazon.com, and could possibly encourage sellers to spend some of their earnings on Amazon’s products and services.