Feeds

Bluetooth gizmo lets you take card payments via smartphone

Square-a-like swipe or type offering for cashless Blighty

The Power of One Infographic

Retailers who've been waiting for Square to jump the pond can now sign up with startup mPowa, and start using a Bluetooth reader capable of processing Chip 'n PIN cards.

mPowa does have a reader almost identical to the headline-grabbing Square, one which balances on top of an iPhone to read the magnetic stripe, but they'll also provide an (equally free) box which connects via Bluetooth to accept Chip-'n-PIN-authenticated transactions: though with no better rate and customers perhaps reluctant to share their PINs, one might ask why bother?

Square and its ilk process credit card transactions for companies too small to deal direct with the banks (though Square itself has moved into vouchers and stored wallets lately).

Square will charge you 2.75 per cent for a swiped card, but 3.5 per cent plus 15 cents if you type the details in manually (reflecting the increased chance of fraud). Chip n' PIN should be much more secure, reflected in a lower rate, but mPowa will take 2.95 per cent (plus 25 pence)* regardless whether the details are authenticated with a PIN, swiped from the mag stripe or typed in manually, removing any incentive to improve security.

Most people in the UK are reasonably comfortable using a PIN in a shop these days, shop keepers have gotten good at wistfully staring into space as the PIN is entered under a covering hand. A commercial Verifone terminal is solid in the hand, industrial enough to engender confidence, but the mPowa kit is rather more consumer-electronics and would certainly make your correspondent think twice before sharing his banking PIN.

Credit card and Bluetooth reader

PINs are useless without the card these days, and cards are tough to copy, so the fear is probably unfounded, but given that mPowa is asking the same rate when the retailer types the numbers in manually there seems little reason to ask customers for their PINs.

However the details are gathered the service does make it really easy for anyone to accept credit card payments, even if they decide to move on once those credit card transactions mount up. ®

*mPowa's headline rate is .25 per cent, but that's only for those who are already dealing direct with a bank, to whom the retailer will also have to pay a cut.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.