Groupon Dives into Busy Credit-Card Payments Arena

Groupon is throwing itself into the crowded field of mobile payments systems, promising merchants a guaranteed lowest-cost option for accepting credit cards.
After a successful pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area, the biggest online daily-deals provider is now competing with eBay’s PayPal and steadily-growing startup Square at a national level.
Groupon’s competitors in the discounted offers field already include Google and Amazon, which is part owner of LivingSocial.
Groupon said it will charge 1.8 percent for MasterCard, Visa and Discover cards,  in addition to a 15 cent fee per swipe. For American Express cards, it charges 3 percent plus the 15 cent fee.
Dubbed Groupon Payments, the service allows restaurants, salons and spas, and retail outlets that run Groupon’s daily deals accept credit card payments at a lower rate than other providers.
Moreover, Groupon guarantees the lowest fees to merchants. Groupon Payments is built into the latest version of the Groupon Merchants app for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Merchants will also have their credit card deposits in their bank accounts overnight. That’s much quicker than the typical two-to-three business days offered by most credit card processors.
“Our goal is to provide merchants with the most affordable and powerful tools to run and grow their businesses,” said Mihir Shah, VP Mobile and Merchant Products at Groupon. “With groundbreaking pricing and service, Groupon Payments does just that.”

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