Amazon is gunning to be the only way you make purchases or transactions. The company already has a great hold on the online side of payments, but it is now expanding into the real world with Amazon Local Register—the answer to Square and Paypal Here with a few competitive advantages.
Instead of dealing with banks and high setup fees, vendors and business owners can easily sign up to the new service on the Amazon Local Register site, then download the app (Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore), buy the secure card reader for $10, and be done. They can then start swiping or manually keying credit and debit cards, with the transaction amount either automatically deposited into their banks the next day or available for use on Amazon.com immediately. The app will also allow them to manage discounts, tax, tips, and track their sales.
Local Register is starting with better fees than both of its competitors. If you sign up before October 31, 2014, you'll be able to benefit from a reduced 1.75% rate on swiped transactions through December 31, 2015, after which the rate will go back to 2.5%. Compared to Square's 2.75% and Paypal Here's 2.7%, you may be saving a lot if you expect to deal with high transaction volumes. The competitive pricing also applies to manually keyed card payments.
Local Register also comes with Amazon's live support should you need it. All in all, it seems like a viable and cheaper alternative to the current established services. The one limitation to keep in mind is that the app is only compatible with a handful of Android phones and tablets: the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, and the Kindle Fire HD, HDX 7", HDX 8.9". Oddly absent from that list is the Amazon Fire Phone and any other Android flagship or mid-range device you may own.