updated 05:50 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Deal could pose threat to Square's mobile service
AT&T has teamed up with Intuit to offer a small business owner the ability to process credit card transactions on their smartphone or tablet. The app, Intuit GoPayment for AT&T, pairs an AT&T subscriber's compatible iOS, Android or BlackBerry device (free, App Store, Android Market, BlackBerry App World) with a small Bluetooth credit card reader. Equipped with them, a business person quickly can capture credit card information with a swipe or a few keystrokes, get authorization, and instant payment credit.
With the system, a small business person can process any major credit card from almost any location, send an e-mail or text an electronic receipt directly from their device, and download the record directly into QuickBooks. No private data is stored on the phone or tablet.
The basic GoPayment service is transaction based. It carries no monthly, transaction or cancellation fees. Small businesses are charged 2.7 percent of the swiped value. For larger retailers with several cashiers and more than $1,000 in payments processed, Intuit is offering a $13 per month program. Subscribers are charged a lower rate, 1.7 percent of the swiped transaction amount. The card reader currently is being offered for free.
The partnership between Intuit and AT&T could represent stiff competition for mobile transaction services provider Square, especially since it appears that Intuit is intentionally undercutting Square's 2.75 percent service fee.