Square to sell mobile payment reader at Walmart stores

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Mobile payment solutions startup Square will begin selling its credit card reader unit in Walmart stores across the U.S., bringing the number of retail outlets offering the dongle to more than 9,000.

Bloomberg reports the Square reader is coming to Walmart, but does not specify when the big-box retail chain will begin selling the unit. Available for free via the web, the Square dongle is also sold for $9.95 at roughly 200 brick-and-mortar Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Store locations as well as Target Corp., RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. outlets.

The brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square enables users to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere and anytime via iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. Sellers input the transaction total, swipe the consumer's card through the dongle (which plugs into the device's audio input jack), and Square handles the remainder of the transaction, claiming a flat 2.75 percent fee.

Square is targeting the small business segment, offering an alternative to conventional point-of-sale transaction hardware and card processing fees, the startup's COO Keith Rabois tells Bloomberg. "Payments have a lot of friction, a lot of distraction," Rabois said. "We can't eliminate all of that this month, but our mission is to make Square ubiquitous."

Earlier this month, Rabois told TechCrunch that Square is now processing $2 billion in transactions each year, adding that the firm has now signed up more than 800,000 merchant partners, up from 500,000 in May 2011. By comparison, credit card giants Visa and MasterCard have authorized a combined 8.2 million merchants.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg article

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