• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

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The Amazon Local Register is truly an extension of Amazon’s brand

Amazon has unveiled a mobile payment app complete with a card reader that can be used on any smart phone or tablet. While this is in no way a novel technology (Square and PayPal have had them for some time), it nonetheless is a big deal for both retailers and Amazon.


The Amazon Local Register further cements Amazon as the retail leader from both a business and brand perspective. Square and PayPal, though earlier in the process, are nothing more than transfer agents. Amazon is retail – all things retail, including managing the monetary transaction.

Amazon Local RegisterPlus, as it stand now, Amazon is going to process transactions for less than Square and PayPal, a big deal for the small businesses who use mobile payment. A half a percent can add up pretty fast.

Even to one of my colleagues who had used Square to take payments for Cub Scout popcorn, a half percent is a lot (it’s a full percent cheaper until January 1, 2016). Unlike the Amazon Fire phone, which was a departure from the core Amazon brand, the Local Register demonstrates a clear understanding by Amazon of the business of its brand. It is a clearinghouse of all things retail – even if Amazon is not actually selling the product. In true Amazon form, you can even spend the money you are taking in directly for Amazon products.

This is a good move by Amazon, one that will force Square and PayPal to respond – if they can overcome the power of when Amazon stays on brand.

2 thoughts on “The Amazon Local Register is truly an extension of Amazon’s brand

  1. I totally agree!! Cost in merchant processing is a huge part of who a small business chooses for their payment processing. It took me all of two days to decide to switch to Amazon Local Register and save that 1% for 16 months.

    Square’s big selling point was undercutting the traditional merchant processing systems with their 1) Swipe Fee, 2) Batch Fee, 3) Statement Fee, 4) IRS Reporting Fee and 5) Fluctuating pricing for customers w/ Rewards Cards (merchants pay those rewards not the card provider). When I switched 3 years ago I started saving 3 to 3.5% every month.

    Any idea on how Square or Paypal responds? Or can they respond?

    If Paypal matches Amazon’s 1.75% how are the Ebay sellers that pay 2.9% and $.30 per sale using Paypal going to react.

    Square sold everything on cost savings (they have no customer service to speak of) so they shouldn’t be surprised if everyone leaves for a better price. If they had responded right away I wouldn’t have switched. What is going to be a small business incentive to switch back in 3 to 4 months?

    1. Well Square and Paypal have to either lower their fees and/or expand services in the short term. In the long run it seems like a 0 sum game. The costs of switching are extremely low.

      Your point about Ebay sellers is a great one. Makes you wonder if Amazon could expand more into Ebay territory.

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