Nedbank has unveiled a mobile point-of-sale solution aimed at small and medium businesses, dubbed PocketPOS. The PocketPOS device can accept credit and debit card payments securely when connected via Bluetooth to a mobile application on a smartphone. “As long as there is a cellphone signal, the Nedbank PocketPOS mobile application and secure card reader will allow transactions to be completed securely,” says Nedbank, adding that the solution is EMV-certified. The PocketPOS device comes in two form factors. The first is a small, cellphone-sized device with a secure PIN pad. Customers can insert their chip and PIN card into the device, and the merchant uses the app on their smartphone to enter the customer’s e-mail address and transaction amount. Once the transaction is approved, a digital receipt is sent. The second form factor has the same secure PIN pad and card reader, but also has a built-in printer, for the printing of physical receipts. Nedbank says both devices are the same cost, and while it has not revealed the exact price point, the bank says: “The more you do with Nedbank, the less you will pay. But for the entry-level merchant, and taking into consideration the average cost of rental for POS devices, we are aiming to come in at about half the price.” According to Nedbank, a choice of pricing bundles will be made available, allowing merchants to choose the bundle most applicable to their transaction volume. The devices will initially be made available to a small select group of existing Nedbank clients, and the bank says it is planning large-scale rollout in the second quarter. Interested clients can find out more about the solution via the SimplyBiz Web site. The PocketPOS device is currently only available to a select group of existing Nedbank customers, but will be made more widely available in the second quarter. Group managing executive of Nedbank retail and business banking, Ingrid Johnson, says: “Small to medium-sized businesses are important to Nedbank, which is why we are delighted to introduce a solution that talks to the heart of any business operation: receiving payments in a safe, convenient, mobile and cost-effective way, as an alternative to cash.” Managing executive of Nedbank card and payments, Sydney Gericke, says: “It creates the opportunity for many smaller businesses to accept card payments where this would not have been considered feasible up to now. It gives businesses on the move, such as plumbers, electricians or delivery services, the ability to reduce cash acceptance when making sales and processing payments on the road.” According to Nedbank, the PocketPOS uses a certified secure card reader and advanced encryption to capture and protect the card data and PIN. Gericke emphasised the fact that the solution is live and not something that the bank is merely "talking about" or still testing. The PocketPOS can be charged using a micro-USB to USB cable, and lasts for about 200 transactions or five days on a single charge. Nedbank says the solution is a South African and African first, and is the first device of its kind to go live with full EMV-certification. Nedbank’s announcement follows Absa’s unveiling of its Payment Pebble in November last year. The Pebble is a result of a partnership with local tech start-up thumbzup. The device acts as a smart-card-reader and plugs into the 3.5mm audio jack on a mobile device (such as smartphones and tablets) and uses an app to make the device capable of accepting payments via debit or credit card. Absa’s solution supports chip, PIN and magnetic stripe cards, and is expected to be rolled out to customers in the first quarter of this year.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

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