US cellular operator Verizon Wireless is to sell a credit card reader that turns a smartphone or tablet into a payments terminal across all 2,300 of its retail stores in the US. The announcement is a major boost both for hardware supplier Intuit in its competition with card reader rivals such as Square and Verifone but also for the technique of transforming devices into payments terminals with the addition of a card reader. Such card readers are pitched at small and mid-sized businesses who can convert existing smartphones or tablets into a payments terminal. Verizon Wireless has confirmed that it also sees such smaller businesses as the market for Intuit’s GoPayment terminal.
The US mobile operator will offer Intuit’s product for sale in its stores and on its website for US$30 but purchasers can receive the device for free if they activate a GoPayment account and apply for a mail-in rebate. An accompanying app is also free. The card-reader market is becoming increasingly competitive. The basic, non-subscription GoPayment service has a 2.7 percent rate for swiped transactions. Larger businesses, which generate a greater volume of transactions, can opt for an account and pay a US$13 monthly subscription and access the more attractive rate of 1.7 percent rate for swiped transactions. The card reader works with most Apple, Android and RIM smartphones and tablets.