May 21, 2015
NFC has become a new standard for mobile payments. People were writing off NFC in 2012/13 and analysts had lowered estimates. From ViVOtech to Softcard (Isis) there were numerous failures. Just when things were looking gloomy, Apple introduced the iPhone 6 with NFC and Apple Pay and the rest is history. Today it is becoming quite clear that from a financial services sector standpoint as well as the smartphone/OS companies’ standpoint (Samsung, Google, Apple) NFC and its variants (including HCE-based NFC) are the chosen technologies for the long term.
There are a number of US-based mPOS companies who have taken initiatives to keep up with the new NFC trends in the market. Here are some of the companies offering NFC-based mPOS solutions:
Clover Network Inc., which makes the Clover tablet-based point-of-sale system, incorporated NFC support after Apple Pay’s launch last year. Clover is owned by First Data Corporation a payment processor that is one of the initial supporters of Apple Pay. The Clover POS system is able to accept Apple Pay contactless transactions using a First Data Corporation PIN pad that has a built-in contactless reader and smart card reader for Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) transactions. First Data’s support of Apple Pay marked another milestone in First Data’s transformation from a payments processor to a solutions provider.
The company’s ViVOpay Vend III is an all-in-one mPOS terminal supporting magnetic stripe, contact EMV and contactless NFC as well. The ViVOpay Vend III provides vending machine operators, kiosks, drive-thrus and other payment functions with an integrated device that allows all three types of payment acceptance technologies: contactless, smart card, and magnetic stripe card payments. Customers can simply swipe a magnetic stripe card, insert a chip card or tap their contactless cards, key fobs, and NFC mobile phones with the ViVOpay Vend III to complete transactions conveniently while being guided through the payment process by an integrated high-contrast graphic display.
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Bindo’s new NFC-enabled mPOS reader will operate over Bluetooth low energy and wireless technology. Using the most advanced technology, it will be able to accept EMV chip & signature, chip & PIN devices, and, of course, magnetic swipe. Bindo’s mobile contactless payment will operate on an EMV-based payments infrastructure. Bindo will also be releasing Bindo Marketplace, a consumer app that aggregates all of the stores using Bindo POS onto one platform, allowing consumers to make a purchase online directly from their favorite neighborhood store and have their orders delivered.
The company offers an Android-based mPOS tablet called LeafPresenter. This mPOS device is part of the Leaf Essentials hardware bundle which also includes software, a base station, a printer and a cash drawer apart from the tablet itself. The LeafPresenter accepts NFC-based transactions, mobile wallets such as PayPal, mobile loyalty programs and payment services such as LevelUp. Leaf offers a payments platform that is platform agnostic and can connect to multiple payment card and gift card processors in the U.S. Leaf was acquired by Heartland Payment Systems, a U.S.-based payments processor, in August last year.
The startup firm offers an equipment to allow merchants to accept mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay and also secure credit card payments. The new equipment uses NFC to allow customers to make contactless payments using their phones. The equipment also supports acceptance of EMV chip-based credit cards. The EMV card technology has been jointly developed by Europass, MasterCard and Visa. ShopKeep employs point-to-point encryption to enable secure payments at its mPOS terminals.
Poynt offers an mPOS terminal, dubbed as a future-proof payment terminal, having the versatility of a mobile device and available to merchants at an affordable price. The Poynt Smart Terminal has been designed to meet all the PCI and EMV requirements and supports multiple payment methods like traditional debit/credit cards, EMV chip-based cards, NFC payments as in Apple Pay and Google Wallet and also supports payment technologies like Bluetooth and QR code. It uses current security technologies like TLS, DUKPT, 3DES, PKI and AES in order to secure sensitive payment data. The Poynt terminal was built from the ground up keeping multiple technologies in mind. In other companies, it has been observed that they have incorporated NFC into existing solutions.
Earlier this year, VeriFone announced a new mPOS terminal that supports all mobile payment platforms and devices. The new terminal, labeled as PAYware Mobile e355, is being offered as a valuable option for retailers to deploy a mobile POS system that is locked into a single ecosystem. The new terminal can work with devices of various form factors, avoiding the hassle of upgrading to next-generation hardware devices. PAYware Mobile e355 supports multiple payment types including EMV, NFC, Apple Pay and the traditional magstripe. It works across all major platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The terminal also comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity as well as an optional barcode scanner.
Last September, Revel Systems, a provider of iPad Point-of-Sale Solutions, announced that it is Apple Pay-ready and will accept Apple Pay payments via Chase Paymentech. To begin utilizing Apple Pay, Revel clients are required to create an account with Chase. This will work independently from the customer’s merchant account unless he or she wishes to use Chase as their merchant account as well. Revel will allow the end user (the merchant) to decide which merchant account is best for their business. Revel’s versatile and flexible platform is a major reason its customers are signing on and post the Apple Pay launch, it has incorporated NFC capabilities as well.
More NFC based mPOS initiatives from other geographies:
This Sweden-based company recently rolled out its next payments terminal, a compact and portable piece of hardware that integrates both chip & PIN and contactless payments, including out-of-the-box support for Apple Pay. iZettle’s new reader also supports other mobile payment apps, such as Google Wallet. iZettle’s new contactless card reader, the Card Reader Pro Contactless, is being distributed to select partners across the United Kingdom, followed by a wider launch later this year.
Last month, the French company launched a one-of-a-kind PCI PTS 4.0 and SRED-certified mobile card reader, equipped to accept EMV, magnetic stripe card payments and NFC/contactless payments such as Apple Pay. Designed with flexibility in mind, the Ingenico RP450c can be attached to a mobile device via the audio jack, used as a separate Bluetooth companion or placed in a docking station mode. Although Ingenico is based out of Europe, but still they have substantial operations in US as well and are extending their NFC mPOS solutions to the US.
The German firm offers an NFC-based mobile chip & PIN card reader that was deployed in the European market last year. payleven is a provider of mobile card payments. Based on a plug and pay principle, payleven merchants can provide their clients with chip & PIN debit and credit card payments via their smartphone or tablet devices. With the launch of the new device, payleven will eliminate this barrier through a competitively priced unit aimed explicitly at small and medium-sized businesses.