Emerge Mobile unveils mobile POS solution
Emerge Mobile has unveiled a mobile point of sale (MPOS) solution - the Edge Mobile Mobile Payment System - that has been in development for the past two years.
The company says the new mobile payment experience is similar to existing customer/retailer card payment procedures.
According to the local start-up, the Edge Mobile Mobile Payment System consists of an acceptance platform, Web portal, native smartphone merchant application and a hardware adapter that is attached to a smartphone. This transforms the phone into a mobile payment terminal capable of processing chip and PIN, and Magstripe card payments. An MFI adapter connects via the data port and a generic adapter connects via the headphone jack on smartphones.
Ramsay Daly, marketing director of Emerge Mobile, notes that other POS solutions use Bluetooth technology and are manufactured internationally, making them significantly more expensive than the hardware Emerge Mobile uses. Others do not have a built-in PIN pad and cannot currently be found as PCI-PTS accredited solutions on pcisecuritystandards.org.
"There is a fully managed software platform linked to our proprietary hardware adapter and integrated into a client's infrastructure; this means the entire card payment process is handled by Emerge Mobile on behalf of a bank or telecommunications company," says Daly.
Matt Putman, MD of Emerge Mobile, explains the fact that the mobile payment system is familiar to traditional systems means minimal impact on customer checkout times and ensures no burden of educating customers about a new payment process is placed on retailers.
The company is positioning itself in the international market in two ways, says Putman. "Firstly, we can white-label our solution to look and feel like our acquiring client's brand, after which we provide services to maintain and upgrade the platform on an ongoing basis. Secondly, we can enable clients, through joint ventures or consultancy services, to release their own new consumer-focused MPOS brands into the market."
According to Putman, the growing popularity of MPOS solutions worldwide, especially among small or micro retailers, will help to drive migration from cash to electronic payments. Research from Timetric shows that, from 2011 to 2012, the number of mobile point-of-sale terminals in operation worldwide increased 111% - from 4.5 million to 8.5 million - and is expected to reach 38 million in 2017.
The increased adoption of smartphones, simplification of regulatory and payment association rules, and a desire to progress from cash-based to cashless societies, will further drive the expansion of the MPOS sector, he adds. "Particularly in Africa, there is growing adoption of MPOS technology by small enterprises, as they understand the benefits of cost reductions, rich functionality, higher sales and the attraction of payment on-the-go for their customers," says Putman.
The solution has achieved Payments Council International Payment Terminal Security (PCI-PTS), and Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) Level 1 and 2 certifications.
According to Putman, the Edge Mobile Mobile Payment System will be registered with the MasterCard Mobile MPOS Program and the Visa Ready Program. "These certifications confirm that our solution meets the highest level of international security standards and is sufficiently secure to roll out worldwide," says Putman.
Emerge Mobile is currently engaging with acquiring banks and telecommunications and mobile network operators as part of its international distribution strategy.