Amazon Shutters Local Services, Including Register

Amazon is sticking to the territory it knows best: online.

The retail behemoth will shut down its credit card reader, Amazon Register, a $10 POS device that plugged into a smartphone or a tablet. The service was aimed at small businesses and mom-and-pop stores competing with the likes of Square and PayPal.

Register was announced in August last year with great pomp and ceremony. And even though Amazon was late to the payments processing game, its inviting pricing strategy (a percentage point less than Square and PayPal) was suspected to have some success. Amazon stopped the service last week and will stop supporting the service from February onward.

And as the retailer prepares for what it predicts to be a record holiday season, it’s also shedding weight by shutting down some services while amping some others up.

Last week it was also reported that Amazon was letting go of another one of its ventures, which included the end of its daily deals program and Amazon Local app.

As GeekWire reported late last week, the eCommerce giant announced it will officially stop selling deals via its Amazon Local platform as of Dec. 18.

“We’ve learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants,” a company spokesperson told GeekWire.

After the program is shut down, customers will no longer have the ability to download the Amazon Local app if they uninstall or switch devices.

Amazon Local, which launched its daily deals offering back in 2011, is currently live in 40 markets across the U.S.

On the help page for Amazon Local, the company confirmed it will still work to connect customers to local businesses through other offerings like Amazon Home Services and Prime Now Restaurants.

Just weeks ago Amazon announced it was closing down its travel site, Amazon Destinations, without much of an explanation except to say it was also a program they learned a lot from.

This is not to say that Amazon has abandoned local (with a small “l”) opportunities. The company’s new Prime Now restaurant delivery in Seattle and Portland will bring deliveries from food trucks and carts to Prime customers in those cities. Earlier this year, Amazon also announced Angie’s List competitor, Amazon Home Services, which help consumers find local tradespeople to install appliances and electronics bought on Amazon. And, just last week, Amazon Echo announced a partnership with Yelp to enable local search for businesses listed there.

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