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Amazon may be going after Square with a credit card reader of its own

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It looks like Amazon is about to release another piece of hardware. After over a year murmurs, documentation from Staples' internal inventory system suggests that Amazon is almost ready to unveil its own point-of-sale system to compete with the likes of Square and PayPal Here. A copy of the inventory documentation provided to 9 to 5 Mac includes an unreleased product referred to as an "Amazon Card Reader." The site reports that it's marked as a $9.99 product and the system notes that signage related to the reader should be held until August 12th.

Today's leak doesn't provide any more information, but it isn't difficult to see how this could match up with a rumor from The Wall Street Journal's sources earlier this year. In that report, the paper said that Amazon was working on a point-of-sale system similar to the Square reader. Instead of pairing with an iPad or iPhone, it would work with Kindle Fire tablets. It also suggested that Amazon would try to focus on small retailers with a low-cost solution. Another report from Bloomberg this past June mentioned in passing that Amazon's Lab126 research and development division was working on a card payment system.

Amazon already has a large payments platform, but it doesn't offer solutions for point-of-sale services. Amazon Payments is its online processing system that competes with PayPal's traditional product. The company also released a very barebones mobile wallet app last week for helping users store gift and loyalty cards on their phones. It's currently unclear if the app could be expanded to function with any forthcoming card reader. If Amazon decides to launch this product, we should hear more in the coming weeks.