Amazon could be preparing to launch its own mobile credit card reading hardware in the coming weeks, according to internal Staples documents hinting at such a launch that we’ve obtained. According to the documents, Staples stores will prepare next month to stock a new product called the “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. The small hardware, which will likely connect to smartphones to process payments, will cost $9.99, according to the Staples internal sales systems…
Interestingly enough, Amazon just launched a new Wallet app for smartphones last week, so the upcoming hardware will likely connect to that software.
An exact launch date for the product is unconfirmed, but Staples has asked its stores to wait until Tuesday, August 12th to put up new signage related to the Amazon Card Reader, so it’s possible that the release is scheduled for that week. Separately, sources say that Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division is developing other mobile payment-related products that focus on biometric fingerprint scanners, so it seems that Amazon will be pushing into the mobile payments world in a comprehensive way. We’ve previously reported that Apple is working with retailers on its own mass-market mobile payments solution based on Touch ID.
Besides the Staples documents, we don’t have additional evidence that Amazon is gearing up to launch its card reader in August, but Staples has certainly been led to believe that the launch is happening. The above planogram for Staples shows that the Amazon Reader would be placed on the shelf beside the Staples and PayPal solutions. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back. Reports from Re/code and the WSJ over the past year indicated that Amazon is considering moving into the Square and PayPal-dominated mobile card reading space. This month, Amazon also launched its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, to not-so-hot reviews.