Amazon may soon launch its own credit card reader similar to Square’s, according to internal documents that 9to5Mac obtained from Staples, which would sell the proposed hardware.
The documents show Staples will start stocking a new product called the Amazon Card Reader in August, which would cost $US9.99 and be sold alongside other card readers like its own, PayPal’s, and Square’s.
Square’s iconic white card reader took off because it makes it dead-simple for small businesses to accept credit cards. The company gives its card readers away for free and then takes 2.75% of each swiped transaction. PayPal takes 2.7%. Amazon would likely stick to the same range.
Although these documents don’t prove the launch of Amazon Card Reader will happen, it would certainly make sense: Earlier this year, Amazon payments head Tom Taylor said he felt pressure from CEO Jeff Bezos to “go faster” with the company’s payments efforts.
9to5Mac sources also say Amazon is developing another payments product that uses biometric fingerprint scanners. It was slightly surprising that Amazon decided not to build a fingerprint scanner into its new smartphone, like Apple has with Touch ID on the latest iPhones. A fingerprint scanner offers added security for anyone who wants to use their phone as a mobile wallet, since they would be the only one who could access it.
Generally, the mobile payments space makes sense for Amazon. It already has a huge number of credit cards on file and 29% of Amazon’s customers use its mobile app exclusively.
Here’s a chart showing how it ranks compared to other major tech companies, from BI Intelligence:
Business Insider reached out to Amazon for comment.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.