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How Amazon Intends to Crush Square in Mobile Payments

Stocks in this article: AMZN AAPL GOOG

Via the mobile app, available on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon's app store, Amazon will offer small businesses the ability to check sales trends, peak sales times and more, all from their smartphone or tablet. True to Amazon's nature, the company said businesses can shop for other accessories, including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands on Amazon's Web site.

"From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support," Matt Swann, vice president of Amazon Local Commerce said in a press release. "We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love - serving their customers and growing their business."

The move comes at a time when San Francisco-based Square, which has dealt with rumors of a sale to Google (GOOG) as well as Apple (AAPL), is moving into other areas outside of payments to generate revenue. The company recently announced Square Order, a new way to pre-order food and drinks available for pickup, as well as other products, such as Square Cash and Square Register. According to sources close to the situation, Square still generates more than 90% of its annual revenue from payments processing.

Square said that the move by Amazon reinforces the recent company moves to expand its offerings. "We've long been focused on building a complete register service for local businesses," a Square spokesperson said. "This reinforces our mission and shows the demand for all of our services."

As of May 2013, Square was handling an annualized $15 billion in payment transactions, though that number may approach $30 billion, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Based on a 2.75% flat fee, that would put Square's annual revenue at around $825 million. However, a good chunk of that, perhaps as much as 80%, goes to Visa, which owns a stake in Square, and to MasterCard.

In the past, Square has expanded its offerings beyond the card reader, launching a Square Stand, analytics tools, as well as other products like invoicing control as it seeks to move beyond payment processing in a hope to find new sources of revenue.

Square recently unveiled a new solution for EMV standards in an effort to help sellers get ahead of the new credit card technology planned for next year, cutting down on credit card fraud as well.

Read More: Amazon Fire Phone Review: That All Ya Got?

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia and Gary Krakow in New York

>Contact by Email.

Follow @Chris_Ciaccia

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