A new payment system has been launched in the UK that will enable companies of all sizes to accept credit and debit card payments through their mobile phone. mPowa, from Powa Technologies, will compete with Square, iZettle and other players that are looking to move into this growing space.
mPowa is a service that includes a mobile phone app and a reader that connects to a smartphone or mobile device, either by plugging into its headphone socket or via Bluetooth. It enables customers to make payments on the go using their card and phone.
The mobile app is free to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and functions as the control centre that accepts the payment. It monitors payments made by card as well as cash and cheque, and processes each transaction securely claims the vendor.
The reader, when connected to a mobile phone, is used to swipe the magnetic strip of the card, or the chip and pin device in the UK. The card is then inserted and the customer is prompted to enter their PIN code. mPowa will enable businesses, including sole traders, to take payments immediately without waiting for invoices to be issued and paid.
Many small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are currently unwilling to accept card payments due to the cost of the devices supplied by the major card issuers and processors. mPowa says it will especially target this market and will function as a way of shortening the payment process from what can be months, to a matter of minutes.
Both the mobile app and reader are free and the only cost associated with using mPowa is the 25p or 0.25% fee charged for each credit or debit card payment processed, making it accessible to all businesses. And because it accommodates existing banking relationships, there’s no need for a business to change its banking details to use the service.
A web-based merchant dashboard account management system enables users to fully monitor payments in addition to the mobile app. Meanwhile, receipts can be sent by email or SMS.
Commenting on the UK launch, Dan Wagner, chairman and chief executive of Powa Technologies, the company behind mPowa, said: “We created mPowa as a response to an age-old problem that needed a solution – a universal payment system that will enable anyone to accept money from customers without excessive costs or waiting times. Whether you’re a large enterprise looking to mobilise your sales team, a market trader, or a local plumber who wants to accept payment on the spot, even from customers who don’t have cash to hand, this is an offering for you.”