US mobile operator T-Mobile has struck a deal with mobile payments provider Square so that the latter’s card reader will be included in a promotion to the mobile operator’s subscribers, another sign of how Square is battling its rivals on the distribution front. The card reader is already sold by Wal-Mart as well as in Apple’s stores and those of Target, Radioshack and Best Buy although T-Mobile is thought to be the first mobile operator which will offer the Square reader. It is one of a number of rival products that transform a smartphone into a payments terminal.
Square’s rivals are attempting to match it in what is becoming a distribution battle between rival card readers. Earlier this year Intuit signed a deal for its card reader to be sold in the stores of Verizon Wireless, a larger rival of T-Mobile’s. The latter is offering a Square card reader as part of an upgrade plan. Subscribers are offered a new smartphone with data, voice and text for US$70 a month and a two-year contract, with a Square reader as an additional part of the package.