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Groupon has announced the launch of Groupon Payments, a payments service backed by a guarantee to be the lowest cost option for a company’s merchants to accept credit cards.

Built into the latest version of the Groupon Merchants app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Groupon Payments provides restaurants and other local businesses with the ability to accept all credit card payments at a lower rate than other providers.

According to a news release, after a successful pilot in the San Francisco Bay Area, any merchant that runs a deal with Groupon in the U.S. can now accept payments at the lowest rates in today’s marketplace: Swiped transactions - MasterCard, Visa and Discover (1.8 percent plus 15 cents per transaction) and American Express (3 percent plus 15 cents per transaction).

Merchants will also have their credit card deposits in their bank accounts overnight.

"Our goal is to provide merchants with the most affordable and powerful tools to run and grow their businesses," said Mihir Shah, vice president of Mobile and Merchant Products at Groupon. "With groundbreaking pricing and service, Groupon Payments does just that."

Groupon merchants that sign up for the service will receive: support backed by a seven-days-a-week support team; the ability to enroll within minutes; an app to enter bill totals, add tips, apply taxes, process refunds and email customer receipts; a credit-based card reader suitable for high transaction volume; encrypted and secure credit card information; and analytics, where merchants can check transaction history, daily sales reports, deposits and revenue trends online. 

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