Intuit looking to compete with Square after launch of business card reader

Accounting software provider Intuit Quickbooks is making a play in digital payments giant Square‘s field.

The company announced it is rolling out a roughly palm-size mobile card reader that displays live step-by-step progress of a transaction from card-tap or swipe through authorization and completion via an LED panel.

The card reader enables users to speed up in-person sales, accept payments on the go and have transactions automatically reconciled in Intuit’s QuickBooks.

While the tech has already been launched, Intuit is already making plans for upgrades. In Summer 2021, the company said it plans to introduce a ‘Power Stand’ or countertop payments hub that will charge up the reader and other USB-compatible portable devices.

According to a release, the firm worked with developer BoxClever, the same company that helped to develop Intuit’s mobile payments reader. The card reader retails for $49, and the Power Stand comes with a $39 price tag. Both devices will be available as a bundle for $79.

“With the addition of QuickBooks Card Reader to our portfolio of money offerings, we continue to make it easier for small businesses to get paid,” says Rania Succar, SVP of Intuit QuickBooks Money Offerings.

Last year, Intuit dug its heels further in to business transactions after it introduced a free business bank account via Green Dot Bank. Now, with QuickBooks’ new gadget, the company plans to expand the financial tools available for its 5 million small-business customers.

However, its entering a turf dominated by Square.

Many consumers recognize Square from its card reader and point-of-sale payment system, but the company has built a comprehensive business platform on top of payment capabilities. Through its seller product suite, Square merchants can sync payments with online and offline orders, inventory, e-commerce, logistics and other merchant tasks in one place.

Its also recently established a partnership with financial services icon Plaid to make ACH payments easier to use and more cost effective for consumers. Square’s head of hardware Jesse Dorogusker announced the company would be developing a hardware wallet for bitcoin. A hardware wallet is responsible for storing the public and/or private keys associated with cryptocurrency transactions.

The popularity of contactless shopping in the pandemic may have bolstered Intuit’s tech enough to give it a fighting chance in the space. The tech is similarly designed and operated, and the market has good incentive to keep an eye on anything that could make the processes even quicker and simpler.

“These industry-leading payment hardware solutions that pair seamlessly with the QuickBooks platform further enhance our robust end-to-end payments offering for small businesses and provide flexibility depending on how they do business and how their customers want to pay,” said Succar.

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