Amazon Local Register: 1.75% Credit Card Processing Fee

Amazon just announced Local Register, which allows small businesses to accept credit cards on their smartphone or tablet much like Square, Paypal, etc. The special thing is their initial promotional rate of 1.75% until the end of 2015 if you sign up by October 31st, 2014. Their standard rate is 2.5%. Square’s standard rate is 2.75%, PayPal is 2.7%. So this is a decent savings of at least 30% on your credit card processing fees. No minimum amounts or monthly fees. Via NYT Bits.

To swipe cards, you have to buy the dongle for $10 with free 2-day shipping, but it also includes $10 in free processing fees. They just don’t want people ordering it and leaving it in their desk drawer (like I did with my Square reader). The lower rates apply to swiped cards only, manually entered numbers cost 2.75%. Compatible with iPhone 4 and newer, Samsung Galaxy S3 and newer, Kindle Fire HD and newer, and all iPads.

I’ve been seeing more Square-type readers at farmer’s markets and smaller retail kiosks. If you have higher volume, you may get a better deal via Costco or other traditional merchant accounts. Individuals may speculate about the churning of cashback or rewards cards through this reader, but in my opinion it has been tried before and is not worth the hassle.

Comments

  1. Nice! Appreciate you always sharing the newest deals and offers!

  2. Anyone else the error messages about “This email address is already associated with an Amazon Payments account. Please provide a different email address and password” when you try to sign in at http://localregister.amazon.com using your primary Amazon account? According to https://payments.amazon.com/help/Personal-Accounts/Managing-Your-Account/Upgrading-to-a-Business-Account you should be able to upgrade your personal account to a business account instead of starting a new one, but the tax info verification process seems to loop infinitely for me. I suppose I could just start a separate account for Amazon Local Register, but first I’m curious if anyone else tried to do the described “upgrade” and actually succeeded.

  3. Does Amazon report this income to IRS? Otherwise, like you said, it would be nice for the churning of cashback. I get 2.5% cashback from the credit card, pay 1.75% to Amazon in fees. That’s 0.75% times $10,000 = $75 per month. What do you think the issues might be?

  4. Joshua Katt says:

    Of course they have to report, over a certain amount per year (could be as low as $600). BTW, what card gets you 2.5%? Thanks

  5. Joshua, I use PayPal debit MasterCard using it as a credit card (i.e. without entering a PIN). My PayPal account balance is always 0 and I have Ebay MasterCard credit card linked as a backup funding source. So, all my purchases go to that card automatically. 1.5%+1%=2.5% For the last 6 months they had a promotion where I was earning 3.5% cashback. That’s how I was able to pay my home property taxes via officialpayments.com, since they charge only 3% fee.

    • I have Barclays priceline card that gives me 2% cashback (now they’ve reduced it to 1% I believe). It’s tempting to use Barclays card as the backup and use mastercard/ paypal card for all my transactions – earning a 3% cashback. But then it’s not clear what happens if there is a dispute (fraudulent transaction, service/ goods not delivered by merchant etc). I don’t trust Paypal to do the right thing. AFAIK, it’s not regulated like a credit card company or a bank.

      When I use my credit card, I know I have 0 liability in case of fraud. I would also have perks like rental car insurance, 90 day theft/ accident protection etc. Would Paypal have those same features? I guess not.

      On the other hand if the protection is via mastercard then it would make a good deal.

  6. This is a very confusing move by Amazon. Why come out with this now? Swipe cards are becoming a thing of the past. EMV chips will be required for fraud protection next October and so far the only payment service that appears to be prepared at all to handle it is PayPal (thanks to PayPal UK). I fully expect Square stock to take a huge hit a year from now if they don’t get their act together and start offering EMV chips readers. Otherwise, they are just leaving the mom and pop stores hanging out to dry when someone swipes a fake credit card (fully liable for all swipe charges come October 2015).

  7. Looks like a great opportunity for manufactured spend to me since I make 2.2% on my credit card. Also seems like a great idea for people who have booths at craft fairs or farmers markets. I’m a landlord so maybe the next time my place goes up for rent advertising that I accept credit cards will get me a small premium?

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