Intuit's GoPayment Cuts Transaction Fees, Pricing Now More In Line With Square

Inuit’s GoPayment reader, which competes directly with Square, is about to become more attractive to small businesses. The company has made the decision dropped the transaction fee ($0.15 per transaction) for both new and existing customers for Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards, both swiped and key-entered as well as qualified and non-qualified transactions. The move will go into effect on Monday.

Launched two years ago, GoPayment offers a complimentary app and credit card reader to allow small businesses to conduct charges via their smartphones. GoPayment is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry phones. So now, businesses using the mobile payments reader will only pay a flat 2.7 percent fee of a transaction for any swiped cards. Intuit will charge 3.7 percent for both key entered and non-qualified transactions.

This is surely a competitive move against Square, which also dropped its transaction fee (which was $0.15) recently in favor of a flat 2.75 percent fee for all transactions. One important fact to note—Intuit will still charge the transaction fee for transactions using American Express but this is something the company is working on negotiating. Square does not charge a fees for transactions on Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

For higher credit card processing volume (recommended for more than a $1,000 per month), Intuit is continuing to charge a $12.95 monthly fee but has dropped the set transaction charge of $0.30. The per transaction percentage remains at 1.7 percent for cards swiped; and 2.7 percent for key entered.

Mobile payments is a competitive space and it’s hard not to notice some of the attention Square has been getting from both Visa and Apple. Because of this, companies like Intuit have to up the ante to remain competitive and attract businesses. For example, Intuit recently extended the offer of a free version of its GoPayment reader indefinitely. Square’s readers have been free for some time now.

Chris Hylen, VP and general manager of Intuit Payment Solutions said this explaining this change in pricing: We started simplifying GoPayment pricing back in January when we eliminated the monthly fee. Now we’re removing transaction fees. As we continue to evaluate the market and talk with customers, we believe that making our pricing even more affordable is the best way to give more people an easy way to process credit cards on their mobile devices.

While Square is growing fast, as more and more businesses are looking for innovative, inexpensive and painless ways to accept credit cards, Intuit’s reader does offer a compelling product. The company reports that it has seen a nearly 700% increase in the number of people signing up for GoPayment each week compared to the beginning of the year (driven in large part its free swiper offering). Intuit declined to reveal exactly how many users are signing up per day vs. a year ago.

And GoPayment users are  processing in excess of $15 million a week using GoPayment and related services. These services also include payments from the Web and through QuickBooks using a GoPayment merchant account, so it’s unclear how much of that $15 million is coming through the readers themselves. Intuit says GoPayment users have processed more than $3 million in a single day over the past month as well.

For basis of comparison, Square just revealed that it is processing $2 million in transactions per day and $66 million for the first quarter, but COO Keith Rabois says forecasts that this number will triple in Q2.

The other competitor in the space, VeriFone, has yet to eliminate the set transaction fees ($0.17) associated with its payment product. But with pressure from both Square and Intuit, that may change soon.