Amazon announced that it will soon be shutting down its payment system, Amazon Register. Launched in 2014, this mobile point-of-sale (POS) system will be discontinued on Feb. 1, 2016, giving existing users just a few months to find a new credit card processing provider.
The best thing about Register is that it is the cheapest mobile POS system available to small businesses. It charges just 2.5 percent per swipe, with promotional periods of just 1.75 percent per swipe. The small credit card reader that plugs into a mobile phone or tablet also only costs $10, and there are no monthly fees.
Although merchants aren't likely to find such low rates elsewhere, here are four of the best alternatives for small businesses. Like Register, these credit card processing services all focus solely on mobile credit card processing and mobile POS systems. They can also help you seamlessly transition from Register to their service. [Best Credit Card Processors 2015]
Square is our top pick for the best mobile credit card processor. Square is Register's closest competitor, and it charges a flat 2.75 percent per swipe. In addition to its Square reader, which attaches to mobile devices, the company also offers a contactless and chip reader that allows businesses to accept Apple Pay and chip cards. A complete iPad POS system is also available at an additional cost. Read our full Square review here.
2. PayPal Here
Like Register, PayPal Here is very easy to use. Just plug the PayPal Here dongle into a mobile device to get started. It charges 2.7 percent per swipe, making it slightly cheaper than Square. Businesses can also take advantage of perks like PayPal's complete POS system, e-commerce integration (for businesses that accept PayPal online) and access to PayPal's Business Debit MasterCard, which offers a rewards program and links directly to PayPal accounts. Read our full PayPal review here.
Editor's Note: Looking for a credit card processor for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
3. Spark Pay (Capital One)
Spark Pay from Capital One works with both iOS and Android devices. Similar to Square and PayPal Here, Spark Pay uses a dongle to swipe credit cards and comes with a smartphone-only option and tablet POS option. Spark Pay may be more expensive, however, depending on a business's needs. There are two packages available: the Pro Plan for $19 per month and 1.99 percent per swipe (2.8 percent for American Express), and the Go Plan, which doesn't have a monthly fee but charges 2.65 percent per swipe (and a whopping 3.7 percent for American Express). Both plans also charge you an additional 5 cents per transaction. capitalone.com/small-business-bank/merchant-services
Flint is a different kind of mobile credit card processing system. The Flint app simply scans the card to process a transaction, so there are no credit card readers or dongles required. It also comes with additional merchant services like e-commerce integration, invoicing and fast deposits to bank accounts. flint.com
For a roundup of our top picks for the best credit card processors and to learn more about credit card processing for small business, visit our comprehensive list of vendors here.