Verizon Wireless is getting more intimately involved in the m-commerce space, announcing today plans to begin selling Square’s card reader. The carrier said the device will be compatible with smartphone’s running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems through Square’s mobile application.
Verizon Wireless said the device, which plugs into the smartphone’s 3.5 millimeter headset jack, will be available through its retail stores for the awkward price of $9.97, though that will also include a $10 credit to a Square account.
The Square device is targeted at businesses looking to accept credit cards from a mobile terminal. Transactions are completed by swiping the card through the Square reader, with the consumer then signing their name on the device screen. The transaction receipt can then be sent to the consumer through a text message or e-mail.
For Square, each transaction swiped through its device is charged a 2.75% fee, while transactions keyed into the application are charged 3.5% plus 15 cents. Square added that funds are typically deposited into a customer’s account within 24 hours.
Starbucks last year invested $25 million into Square that also included a contract to begin using the Square service to process all debit and credit card transactions at the coffee company’s U.S. locations.
Square is not the only game in town targeting mobile transactions. PayPal last year introduced its PayPal Here offering that provides a similar transaction experience. The PayPal Here service charges customers a 2.7% fee for card swiped through the device, though it also offers the ability to cut that fee to 1.7% through a cash-back offering to merchants.
Verizon Wireless is also involved in the m-commerce space through the Isis initiative with fellow operators AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA. That offering taps into a mobile device’s near field communications capabilities to allow users to pay for transactions using just their mobile device.
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