Never let it be said Amazon is short of ways of making people pay for things. The online retail giant has just launched an accessory for smartphones and tablets that can be used to swipe credit cards. And in doing so, it's undercutting its rivals.
Aimed at small businesses, the Amazon Local Register is intended to be an alternative to a cash register.
Amazon will only take 1.75 per cent of swiped transactions until 2015, when the rate will go up to 2.5 per cent.
Even the higher rate is lower than Square and PayPal, which sell rival devices.
Square Register charges 2.75 per cent, while PayPal Here charges 2.7 per cent.
Why so high? The companies have to deduct those pesky fees from the credit-card companies and banks.
At present, Amazon Local Register is only available in the US. There's no word when, or indeed if, it'll come to the UK.
The $10 (£6) device is a doddle to use – just plug it into your mobile or tablet's headphone socket, then swipe the card. It's compatible with recent iOS devices, as well as Android ones and Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. But not, curiously, the Amazon Fire phone.
Amazon is increasingly moving into hardware of late. As well as its Kindle Fire tablets and Fire phone, it recently launched a set-top box-cum-games console called Fire TV.
It's also ruffled a few feathers in its row with publisher Hachette.
The retail giant has reduced its stock of books by Hachette authors and blocked pre-orders. It claims it's doing this because Hachette is colluding on prices with rival publishers, and stopping readers having access to more affordable books.
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