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Intuit's GoPayment service offering incentives (podcast)

Intuit's mobile payment service is now free of monthly charges and comes with a free credit card reader, much like rival Square.

GoPayment's small credit card scanner attaches to the audio jack on many smartphones. Larry Magid/CNET

Intuit is looking to increase its presence in the mobile payment market by offering a free credit card reader for smartphones and eliminating monthly fees. The offer extends to people who sign up by mid-February. The service, called GoPayment, was launched in 2009.

Andrew Freed, GoPayment product manager Larry Magid/CNET

Intuit is best known for its Quicken personal finance software, TurboTax tax preparation software and service, and QuickBooks for small business, With this free offer, Intuit is squaring off against Square which also offers a free credit card swiper and no monthly fees. Both Intuit and Square do charge transaction fees which, for most users, start around 2.7 percent if a card is swiped and a bit higher if no card is present.

Unlike Square, which can be used by just about anyone for things like garage sales or splitting dinner bills, GoPayment is designed specifically for small businesses, but includes very small businesses like gardeners, plumbers, artists at street fairs, and consultants.

For more on the free offer, see Lance Whitney's post from Tuesday and click below to listen to my interview with GoPayment product manager Andrew Freed.

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