Intuit, the maker of Quickbooks accounting software, is entering the increasingly crowded mobile payments market.
Its 'Intuit Pay' Bluetooth device and mobile app will enable SMEs, start-ups and sole traders to accept credit and debit card payments through chip and pin or swipe transactions, providing they have an internet connection and have passed a mandatory credit check.
Intuit's offering goes up against Sweden's £49 iZettle and PayPal Here, which is set to launch in the UK this summer at less than £100. Each of these charge 2.75 percent commission for every transaction they make. Intuit said its package, which it valued at £99, will be free for a limited time only.
"Current solutions are either too expensive, demand long-term contracts or simply don’t work where businesses need them," said Terry Hicks, vice-president of products for Intuit, in a statement.
The Intuit Pay iOS app will be available in the iTunes Store from today for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch but an Android version will be launched in the next few weeks, according to an Intuit.
Payments can also be taken by entering a customer's card details online using the secure Intuit Pay web portal, allowing vendors to take payments over the phone.
From next month, the mobile payment solution will be able to connect with Intuit's accounting software, Quickbooks.
A survey for Intuit of 1,000 small businesses in the UK found that just 19 percent of firms with less than 10 employees currently accept card payments. But 47 percent said they would accept cards if there was a more affordable way of doing so using their smart phone or tablet.
There are an estimated 4.6 million businesses with less than in the UK according the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.