Print 16 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Aug 14 at 9:21 PM

Amazon Local Register doesn't even support the Fire smartphone

We first brought you news of Amazon’s mobile card reader last month, and the company today officially announced Amazon Local Register. Amazon Local Register, like its competition, is comprised of the physical secure card reader and a companion app.
Amazon hopes to compete with similar offerings from Square and PayPal by offering significantly reduced processing fees (for a limited time). Users who sign up for Amazon Local Register will only be hit with a 1.75% fee for swiped transactions versus 2.75% and 2.7% for Square and PayPal Here respectively.
However, the limited time offer expires on January 1, 2016. Starting on January 2, the rate will jump to 2.5%, still undercutting the competition.

If there is one thorn in the side of Amazon Local Register, it’s most definitely device compatibility. It is only compatible with Apple’s iPhones (iPhone 4 and newer), iPad, and iPad mini; Samsung’s Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S5; and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX family of tablets. What’s even more surprising, however, is that Amazon’s newly released Fire smartphone isn’t even on the approved list (although we’ve reached out to Amazon for clarification on this point).

The Amazon Local Register Secure Card Reader is priced at $10. Amazon is also making a available a few bundled packages including an Amazon Local Register card reader plus a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9” tablet for $379. Add on a receipt printer and a cash drawer and bundle price jumps to $599.

Updated 8/13/2014 @ 10:19am
Amazon has gotten back to us on Fire phone compability with the following statement:
The Amazon Local Register card reader and free mobile app are compatible with a wide variety of phones and tablets including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and coming soon on the new Fire phone and other android devices.

Sources: Amazon [1], [2], [3]

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chip and pin?
By mike8675309 on 8/13/2014 10:48:43 AM , Rating: 2
Does their card reader have a chip reader in it? Or are we still waiting for the US companies to pick a standard?

RE: chip and pin?
By kattanna on 8/13/2014 11:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
while my CC has this ability, I think i have only come across 1 retail store that actually used it. caught me by surprise too.

RE: chip and pin?
By Solandri on 8/13/2014 1:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Those of us who are old enough will recall that it took more than a decade for merchants to switch from the old carbon copy roller credit card machines, to the magnetic stripe swipe machines. As much as I'd like to see chip and pin become more prevalent, it's going to take a while.

RE: chip and pin?
By SatchBoogie1 on 8/13/2014 2:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, if a retailer does not switch to an EMV card reader by October 2015 then they are on the hook for any fraudulent transactions. Meaning the banks will not reimburse the retailer if a user purchases goods with a fraudulent credit card.

RE: chip and pin?
By ProfFarnsworth on 8/13/2014 2:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
From what I know is alot of major banks are forcing it. It's up to merchants to make the switch.

By EricMartello on 8/13/2014 1:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Just a friendly reminder for someone who is thinking this might be a great way to boost business - it's not when compared to a "standard" merchant account. You're still paying about 1% to 1.5% more than you should be for a typical retail credit card transaction fee.

On average, a "card present" swipe comes with a 1.5% fee as the standard rate, while high sales volume merchants may be able to get that down to as low as 1%. At 2.75% you are still overpaying the standard transaction fee by 183%! That's quite a premium to pay for a slight increase in initial convenience.

By Vertigo2000 on 8/13/2014 1:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're not overpaying the standard transaction fee by 183%, you're overpaying by 83%... overpaying by 183% means you're paying the standard transaction fee of 1.5% plus another 183% of that or a total of 4.25%.

It's a technicality but the optics of paying 183% more vs 83% more if fairly significant.

By Vertigo2000 on 8/13/2014 1:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
Just to further clarify, you're not overpaying the standard transaction fee by 183%, you're paying 183% of the standard transaction fee.

If an item is worth $100, but I paid $120, you wouldn't say I overpaid by 120%, you'd say I overpaid by 20%. Overpaying by 120% would imply I paid $220 for the $100 item.

Like I said before, it's a technicality but it is significant.

By EricMartello on 8/14/2014 9:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
1.5 x 1.83 = 2.745

2.745 rounds to 2.75.

1.83 = 183%.

Therefore 2.75 is 183% more than 1.5.

You would be incorrect in saying that 2.75 is 83% more than 1.5 because 1.5 x 0.83 = 1.25 and 1.25 =/= 2.75.

It's true that the difference between 2.75 and 1.5 is 1.25, and that 1.25 is 83% of 1.5. That is what tripped you up.

I'm comparing the total rates that you pay and not just the difference between them.

Square squared
By Nortel on 8/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Square squared
By Flunk on 8/13/2014 10:35:46 AM , Rating: 2
It's not like they invented the technology or there are no other credit-card processors.

RE: Square squared
By carigis on 8/13/2014 11:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Except... It says "$10 processing credit will offset the first $10 of processing fees we charge.
". So it is basically gonna be free if you use it.

By djdjohnson on 8/13/2014 1:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's interesting that companies are still coming out with magnetic swipe-only readers, considering that starting in October of 2015 everybody has to use the EMV chips ("chip and pin").

Hasn't anyone at Amazon noticed that their readers are going to be non-compliant in just over a year?

By wookie1 on 8/14/2014 11:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like a non-issue for about a year. Then they will just send you a new EMV compliant reader next year. This really doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Are Square and PayPal Here EMV readers? I have a PayPal Here reader, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have an EMV reader.

Doing business with Amazon...
By coburn_c on 8/13/2014 10:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
That's never been a problem for anyone.. nope, never heard of it...

Nice update
By bug77 on 8/13/2014 10:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
They seem to have a very "creative" idea about what "wide variety" means.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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