Amazon has finally announced a card reader that will undercut much of what Square and other card readers offer.
The mega company (because there’s really no other way to put it – where else can you buy books and socks on the same site?) will offer companies interested in its new reader an introductory rate of 1.75% per card swipe.
The deal gets sweeter too.
Making It Hard to Say No
To make things more tempting for companies that are interested in Amazon’s new reader, the company is also offering a $380 bundle that includes the card reader and a Kindle Fire – which, of course, you can use with the reader. The reader also works with iOS and Android, but Amazon wants companies to use its Fire, which is why the bundle package makes sense for any company that doesn’t already own a company tablet or reader.
If you think about it, too, Amazon might soon take card swiping with the Fire to a whole new level. Amazon already holds a lot of credit card information for thousands of Amazon users, so the future might look something like using voice recognition to “tell” a Fire device that you want Amazon to charge the card already on file. Amazon hasn’t told press anything additional about the card reader, but the setup is there already.
The Card Reader Conundrum
In Canada and in Europe, credit cards with just a swipe strip aren’t widely accepted at stores, or accepted at all, really. Those parts of the world require cardholders to have credit cards with pins embedded in them. There’s no card reader, yet, that accepts chip cards, so swipe readers will work in the U.S., but they won’t work elsewhere.
For those reasons, card readers as we currently have them are targeted solely to a U.S. market. Companies wanting a mobile way to accept pin cards will have to hold out for Amazon or Square or PayPal to create a reader that can read pin cards.
It’s somewhat hard to believe that one company isn’t working on a pin card reader yet, though this technology might be harder to create or more expensive to produce – or, perhaps, it’s not worth the trouble or cost to reach out to other markets that wouldn’t use the technology as much as businesses in the states do. Card readers in the U.S. are still immensely popular, and it was only a matter of time before Amazon entered that market.
The End for Some
When heavy hitters like PayPal and Amazon enter a once small arena (Square did, after all, invent the card reader), some smaller companies may have a hard time competing with the rates offered by these mega-companies. Hopefully, Square and others will be able to hang onto some smaller businesses that understand the important of supporting a smaller company.
Square does have one more thing going for it, though – Amazon and PayPal have security issues, and those companies aren’t as widely trusted as Square is. So, keep that detail in mind if you are considering a card reader option. If you like the sound of Amazon’s bundle, you can find more details on the company website.