Apple has been rumored to unveil a payment system of its own, but until and if that happens, it seems that companies like Amazon are taking the initiative. Yesterday Amazon has announced Local Register, a new mobile credit card reader and companion app-based payment processing system that allows users to accept plastic payments on their iPhone or iPad.
Amazon's new Local Register system works pretty much in the same way like its competitors. Those opting for it will need to attach a small, plastic card reader to the headphone jack of their handset or tablet that converts input from a credit card's magnetic stripe to audio waveforms. There's then a companion app that reads the input and handles communication with Amazon's processing backend.
Instead of offering their cred card reader for free, just as Square, PayPal, and Intuit do, Amazon will charge users $10 up front and credit that amount back in processing fees. Also, Amazon will also charge just 1.75 percent of each transaction through the end of 2015, but it will get increased to 2.5 percent afterwards.
Square and PayPal charge 2.75 percent and 2.7 percent, while Intuit's GoPayment charges 1.75 percent for subscribers, but 2.4 percent for users on pay-as-you-go plans. Thus, Amazon's new system is cheaper than Square and PayPal but more expensive than Intuit.
For the time being, Amazon Local Register works with the following phones and tablets: iPhone 5s, 5s, 5, 4S, 4; Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5; Kindle Fire HD and HDX 7''; Kindle Fire HD and HDX 8.9'', iPad and iPad Mini