In a widely anticipated move, Amazon.com has unveiled a $10 mobile point of sale device (mPOS) and mobile app for brick-and-mortar businesses, marking the latest step by the US online retailer to expand its presence in the physical world.
The move places Amazon in a crowded market, including startup Square, which popularized
a payments dongle that allowed small- and mid-sized businesses like food trucks, coffee shops and personal trainers to quickly accept credit and debit cards – reports Reuters.
The new mPOS system, called Amazon Local Register, will give Amazon crucial data on how US consumers shop offline. More than 90% of US retail sales still take place in physical stores, according to US government data.
Amazon hopes to court small businesses in part by charging lower fees than Square and eBay’s PayPal unit. Those who sign up for Amazon’s program before Oct. 31 will be charged 1.75% for each card swiped until January 2016.
For those who sign up after October, Amazon will take a 2.5% cut of each card swipe, still less than Square’s 2.75% flat transaction rate and PayPal’s 2.7%.