Amazon unveils iOS-compatible Local Register card reader

Amazon Local Register (image 003)

Taking the likes of PayPal Here and Square head on, the online retail giant Amazon today unveiled an iOS-connected credit card reader. Dubbed the Local Register, the accessory allows iPhone and iPad owners to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards on their device.

The tiny dongle connects to an iOS device via the headphone jack and has a magnetic stripe that reads data from your credit card and transfers it securely to the device as an audio waveform.

A free mobile app then verifies payment information and completes the transaction using Amazon’s processing backend. Amazon is savagely undercutting both Square and PayPal with lower transaction fees, starting at just 1.75 percent per swipe…

This compares favorably to Square’s 2.75 percent per-swipe fee and PayPal’s 2.7 percent. As part of the launch promotion, Amazon’s low 1.75 percent fee is good through the end of 2014, after which the increased fee of 2.5 percent per swipe will come into effect.

Check out the promotional video below.

The company ensures that funds will be available in users’ bank accounts the next business day following a transaction. Unlike Square and PayPal that offer dongles free of charge, Amazon’s plastic reader (pictured below) costs $10 a pop, though the upfront payment will be credited back in processing fees.

Amazon Local Register (image 001)

The following key features are highlighted in Amazon’s press release:

  • Exceptional value: Amazon Local Register accepts all major credit and debit cards for a low, flat rate with no hidden fees. Plus, there are no long-term contracts. Customers who register before October 31 will receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe until January 1, 2016. Customers who sign up after this promotional period will pay a flat rate of 2.5 percent on all swiped transactions.
  • Amazon customer support: Access the award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, available by phone and email. Plus, Kindle Fire HDX owners can take advantage of the Mayday button to connect to an Amazon tech advisor 24 hours a day, 365 days per year – for free.
  • Secure and stabilized card reader: A stabilized card reader limits swivel, making it easier to swipe once and go. Plus, each transaction is backed by the same services that securely power purchases.
  • Business tracking tools: In-app reporting enables a business to quickly check bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more. All reporting is easily accessible from a smartphone or tablet and is password-protected.
  • Compatible accessories: Shop for compatible accessories including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands. Find everything needed to build a point-of-sale system including massive selection, available at the best price, all on

The companion app includes stats for bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more. The service is available in the United States and Japan, with global roll-out expected in the coming months.

A range of companion accessories are being offered such as smartphone and tablet cases, cash drawers, receipt printers, stands and what not. And last but not least, the company is selling the $380 Local Register bundle that includes a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet.

To learn more, check out the Local Register micro-site.