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Amazon unveils card payment reader, challenging Square
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Aug 13, 2014

China's Lenovo posts 23% jump in profit
Hong Kong (AFP) Aug 14, 2014 - Lenovo on Thursday posted a 23 percent jump in quarterly net profit, beating market estimates as the Chinese technology giant logged strong sales of personal computers and smartphones.

The world's biggest maker of PCs said net profit for the three months ended June 30 climbed to $214 million from 174 million in the same period last year.

Revenue for the quarter was up 18 percent at $10.39 billion, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Lenovo said it achieved "strong results with record performance across all lines of business", adding that worldwide smartphone shipments grew about 39 percent year-on-year.

In a bid to diversify its business beyond PCs, Lenovo earlier this year announced a $2.91 billion deal to purchase Motorola from Google and another $2.3 billion deal to buy IBM's low-end server business.

The company said it was working with authorities to close both deals and is "well prepared for the coming integration".

"The group believes the acquisition of such an iconic brand (Motorola), innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a truly global smartphone player in the fast-growing mobile space," the company said in the filing.

Analysts say the solid results, which surpassed market expectations, have boosted investor confidence.

"Strong earnings give investors more confidence about Lenovo's ability to manage the acquisitions," Alberto Moel, an analyst from Sanford C. Bernstein, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Shares in the company were up 0.53 percent at HK$11.48 by the afternoon, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index was flat.

US online giant Amazon unveiled a new payment card reader for mobile devices Wednesday in challenging a system pioneered by Square.

The e-commerce giant unveiled its "Amazon Local Register," described as "a secure card reader and mobile app that provides local businesses with the tools they need to quickly and easily accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet and keep track of their growing business."

The move expands Amazon's efforts to gain a foothold in the payments business in addition to its traditional role as a retailer.

Amazon launched its payment service last year, allowing people to make one-time payments to third parties and later unveiled a system for recurring payments.

With the card reader, Amazon will get a 2.5 percent commission on sales, but is offering a promotional rate of 1.75 percent for customers who sign up by October 31, a rate that will remain in place until 2016.

"From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support," said Amazon's Matt Swann.

"We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love -- serving their customers and growing their business."

Merchants can buy a mobile reader for $10 and attach the device to many tablets and smartphones. Amazon will credit back the first $10 in transaction fees, making the device free.

Amazon will also allow transactions to be processed through a mobile app without the use of the reader.

The fees from Amazon undercut the system used by Square, a payments processor set up in 2010 by Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter.

Square takes a 2.75 percent cut on sales from its card reader and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents from its mobile app.

PayPal, a unit of the online giant eBay, also has a card reader and gets a 2.7 percent commission per swipe.




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