Apparently Jeff Bezos’ team listened up when he pushed them to focus on payments.
Evidence: Amazon now thinks it is hip to beat Square and PayPal.
If you haven’t already heard, rumors are percolating that the nation’s biggest ecommerce powerhouse could soon shake up the mobile-payments battlefield with its own Square-like reader.
Word that Amazon, strained amid a dismal $126 million second quarter loss, might be gearing up to introduce a mass-market credit card reader first broke on 9to5Mac. The popular tech news and reviews site published what it claims are internal documents from Staples hinting that the Framingham, Mass.-based office-supply chain could soon stock up on a new item titled “Amazon Card Reader.”
The rumored hardware could possibly arrive on Staples’ shelves as early as some time in the coming weeks. The cost will reportedly be $9.99.
A representative from Amazon responded to Entrepreneur.com’s inquiry for confirmation or denial of the reports, predictably stating that the company does not comment on rumors and speculation. Staples has not yet responded to our request for comment on the headline-hogging hearsay.
The alleged Staples documents, which include a detailed product placement planogram, reveal what may or may not be an order to stock the unconfirmed Amazon credit card reader, complete with seemingly legitimate model and SKU numbers.
The mystery payment card-swiping unit, which we hope goes over better than Amazon’s recently unveiled gimmicky Fire Phone, was listed directly above PayPal’s Here ($14.99) mobile credit card reader and Staples’ own Mobile Register Credit Card Reader ($14.99) and of course, Jack Dorsey's Square ($9.99).
Also per 9to5Mac, Staples will hold off until Aug. 12 to “put up new signage related to the Amazon Card Reader.” Other sources told the website that Amazon’s Lab126 consumer electronics research and development arm is working on additional mobile payments-based products that feature biometric security properties, such as fingerprint scanners.
Upping its budding mobile payments game, Amazon debuted its inaugural digital wallet app in the Google Play store last week, simply called Amazon Wallet - Beta. So far, it’s only garnered between 1,000 and 5,000 installs, according to its page on Google Play. If the app works with the software for Amazon’s rumored payment card-reader device -- and why wouldn't it? -- Amazon’s latest move into the mobile world seems like even more of a no-brainer.