(USA TODAY) Amazon is diving deeper into the payment processing business.
The online retailer announced Amazon Local Register, a mobile point-of-sale service combining a mobile app with a secure card reader -- similar to Square -- that lets small businesses process digital transactions.
The big draw for businesses would be Amazon's rate of 2.5% for every swiped transaction. Both Square and PayPal's point-of-sale services offer rates of 2.7%. Amazon is also launching a promotion that drops the rate to 1.75% if customers sign up before October 31.
Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or used on Amazon's website.
Amazon's new payment system undercuts rivals Square and PayPal in price and gives Amazon crucial data on how Americans shop at physical stores. Fred Katayama reports.
"We understand that every penny and every minute counts," says Matt Swann, Amazon's vice president of local commerce, in a statement. "So we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love - serving their customers and growing their business."
The app is available through Amazon's App Store, and compatible with Google Android and Apple's iOS.
Amazon becomes the latest to court small businesses with point-of-sale services, joining PayPal and Square, founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Earlier this week, Square unveiled an Appointments system allowing companies to book appointments with customers.