Before the mobile card reader phenomenon took off, it was unlikely that a small-business owner could walk into a nearby store, pay $10 and walk out minutes later with the ability to accept card payments. Today, mobile payment devices are competing for shelf space with a growing number of major retailers.

The trend is gaining momentum. Over the past two weeks, PayAnywhere announced that its mobile card readers are available at Sam's Club stores and online at Amazon.com. Its other retail partners include Home Depot.

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