Amazon quietly launched a digital wallet app earlier this month for storing gift cards, membership and loyalty cards. But new reports suggest the company’s ambitions extend beyond this initial step to actually rivaling the likes of Square, PayPal, Intuit and others in the mobile payments arena.
Internal documents obtained by 9to5Mac indicate that office supply retailer Staples will soon start stocking a new product called “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. Pricing is set to $9.99, which is about $5 less than PayPal's Here, while availability is estimated around the week of August 12th.
Keep in mind that this might be placeholder information and that Amazon hasn’t officially confirmed plans to enter mobile payments. For what it’s worth, 9to5Mac notes that separate sources say Amazon is developing other mobile payment-related products that focus on biometric fingerprint scanners, so it’s not far fetched to think something is definitely cooking.
Exactly how the purported card reader would work is unclear at the moment, but the thinking is it’ll plug into a smartphone or tablet like its rivals do, while also somehow tiying into the new Mobile Wallet app.