According to 9to5Mac.com, Amazon may soon be entering the world of payment processing with its own hardware.
Payment processing, or the way retailers accept credit and debit cards for their business, is used to transfer money from the customer to the merchant. Current speculation posits that Amazon is developing their own card reader in order to enter yet another portion of the retail market.
The rumors arose when 9to5Mac.com got hold of internal documents from office supply giant Staples, which showed an item listed as “Amazon Card Reader.” The site considers this evidence that Staples will begin stocking the product sometime in August; Staples currently stocks their own card readers, along with ones made by PayPal and Square.
The documents also reveal that Amazon’s card readers will likely attach to smartphones and tablets, like Square’s card readers, and only cost $9.99.
At the end of July, Amazon completed their Wallet app, which will likely connect to the new card readers. Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division is also reportedly developing other mobile payment products using biometric fingerprint scanners, similar to Apple’s proposed Touch ID payment solution. This month, Amazon also broke into the smartphone arena with its Fire Phone.
Although nothing is confirmed as of yet, the documents from Staples indicate that the Amazon Reader will be placed on the shelf beside the options from Staples and PayPal.
Yet what this means for other payment processing companies, which operate primarily in the merchant services industry, has yet to be seen. “What this means for the payment processing industry, and more specifically the mobile payments industry is simple – more options for start-ups and small businesses who want to start using their mobile devices to accept credit card payments from their customers. Although, the typical integrated POS solution for medium – larger sized retailers will remain unaffected, mobile payments are continuing to grow within the small business sector, and even in the services industry. Amazon is clearly going to test the waters against the industry leaders Paypal and Square for mobile card readers” said Jordan Rinaldo, Marketing BNASmart Payments Ltd.
Another report from the Wallstreet Journal stated that Amazon has plans for sometime this year to begin offering brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that utilizes the company’s Kindle tablets. Last year, Amazon purchased GoPago Inc. (now DoubleBeam Inc.) a San Francisco-based startup that offered checkout systems linked to smartphone apps.
While eCommerce is a growing industry online, over 90% of commerce is still conducted in physical retail store in the U.S. The rumored payment processors from Amazon could potentially provide valuable data on consumer spending habits.