As more aspects of our lives become even more digital, mobile payments might just become the next step for retail shops. Square has established itself as the leader in the market, but now online retail giant Amazon is trying to make its way to this segment by launching Amazon Local Register. The program provides a card reader and an app that will help merchants and retailers accept credit and debit card payments without having to shell out for a credit card terminal.
When you create an account on Amazon Local Register, you will purchase the card reader that will fit into the headphones jack of your smartphone. You then need to download the mobile app from Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store. Once you’ve installed both the reader and the app, you can already use it to accept payments from customers with their credit or debit cards.
If merchants sign up before the end of October 2014, each transaction will only give Amazon a special rate of 1.75% until the end of December 2015. Afterwards, the percentage will rise to 2.5%. Each card reader will cost $10 but Amazon says that they will easily recoup this since the first $10 in transactions will be credited back to the account. There are also no monthly fees, refunds or chargeback fees, and international charges. You will also not be locked in to any kind of contract.
While it seems a good deal, feedback from early customers has not been so good. If you’re already an Amazon merchant, you cannot just add the Local Register to your existing account. You need to create a different one. The app is still slow at this time, causing some delays during the transactions. The compatible smartphones are still limited, with only iPhone 4 and up, iPad and iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, and Kindle Fire HD and HDX working with the system. It’s still early days for the Local Register, so there will surely be more improvements moving forward.