Amazon may launch mobile credit card reader

Amazon WalletAmazon may be about to launch their own credit card reader which would compete directly with PayPal Here, as well as Square and other competitors.

9to5mac report seeing an internal Staples document suggesting that the “Amazon Card Reader” could be in stores in the US as early as August the 12th at a retail cost of $9.99. Amazon have already launched a digital wallet for Android and the Fire Phone so a mobile credit card reader could well be the next step to expand Amazon Payments.

The real question for retailers is would you prefer an Amazon card reader over PayPal Here or an alternative device. First question of course is how would you get your money – would you have to wait for the fortnightly disbursement from your Amazon account or would the funds become available to you immediately?

With PayPal Here you can (at least in the UK) transfer funds from your PayPal account to your bank account in seconds. That’s a big differential if a solution from Amazon only pays out fortnightly.

Other questions equally important are what would the fees be for using a device from Amazon? Amazon Payments charge fees which pretty much mirror PayPal fees. For PayPal Here card payments made by swiping the magnetic strip or manually entering the card details PayPal charge their top rate of 3.4% + 20p, however for Chip and Pin payments, or PayPal Check In, that drops to 2.75%. We’d expect Amazon mobile payment fees to be similar.

The next question is would consumers be happy with an Amazon mobile payments system? Whilst everyone is probably aware of Amazon and most people will have purchased on the site, they’ve not the same brand awareness for payments as PayPal. Having used PayPal Here at a car boot, experience tells me that PayPal is a trusted payments brand, but if you offer to take money with Amazon will that be just as acceptable to the man or woman on the street?

Would you welcome and Amazon card reader for mobile payments on the go, or are you happy with the solutions that you already have in place?