Amazon undercuts Square and PayPal with its own mobile card reader

Square's grand plan to democratize credit card payments has inspired a clutch of imitators, the latest of which is Amazon. The company has just announced Amazon Local Register, a credit card reader and app combination that'll enable small businesses to take payments they wouldn't otherwise get, as long as they have a smartphone or tablet lying around. The retailer is savagely undercutting both Square and PayPal Here, offering a flat charge of 1.75 percent per payment until the start of 2016, a full percent lower than the 2.75 and 2.7 percent asked by the other two. On January 2nd, however, the fee rises to 2.5 percent, a smaller yet still significant cut compared to Amazon's rivals in the space. The gear's available for Android, iOS and the company's own Fire devices, priced at $10, and there's even a business bundle for $380 that'll include a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 -- which we figure is a whole lot cheaper than trying to install a cash register in your taco truck.