Groupon, the online deals site, has introduced a new mobile payment system which has aimed to offer “the lowest rates in today’s marketplace” when consumers pay through its app on an iPhone or iPod Touch.
The system involves a Groupon-branded card reader which is attached to an iPod or iPhone via an audio jack. Merchants can then accept credit and debit cards by swiping them through the card-reader.
Launched nationwide in the US following a successful trial period in San Francisco, Groupon’s technology is competing with eBay's PayPal system and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's Square which also allow merchants to swipe credit cards on their phones using a small attachment.
In addition, Groupon has revealed its competitive rates will charge a 1.8 per cent fee plus $0.15 for each transaction. American Express cards will be assessed a 3 per cent fee plus $0.15 cents.
In comparison, Square charges 2.75 per cent per swipe, or $275 per month and PayPal charges 2.7 per cent.
Groupon's new payments system has also allowed merchants get paid faster: overnight, instead of the typical two-to-three-day wait and its online Payments Centre has aimed to enable merchants to view a transaction history, check sales reports, and track deposits.