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Amazon’s mobile credit card reader set to arrive next month?

It would seem that Amazon is preparing to square up to, erm, Square in the mobile payments arena, with the retail giant apparently all set to launch its own credit card reading hardware.

This is just a rumour, mind, coming from 9 to 5 Mac which published an internal document from office supplies store Staples that showed an "Amazon Card Reader" among the list of other such pieces of hardware (such as PayPal's mobile card reader).

Amazon has just launched a digital wallet app for smartphones, so it's likely that the device would tie up with this – and it could launch as soon as mid-August. At least that's when signs are due to go up in-store, although that's no guarantee, of course.

It's not the first time that we've heard mention of Amazon's credit card reader, as back at the start of the year, inside sources told the Wall Street Journal that the plan was for card readers and Kindle tablets to be placed in retail stores – though at the time this plan was said to be "fluid" and might end up delayed, or even cancelled. We shouldn't have long to wait now to find out whether it will definitely be realised...

Amazon is certainly extending its sphere of influence, and most recently pushed out the (long rumoured) Fire Phone, although the device has received a less than fiery reception – in fact it's been distinctly lukewarm. You can read an overview of the various opinions in our Fire Phone review roundup.