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SAPA PR--MOBILE CREDIT CARD MACHINES BOOSTING PAYMENTS INDUSTRY
Nov 02, 2010 at 07:57 AM
ISSUED BY: CHARLENE SMITH COMMUNICATIONS

ATTENTION: TECHNOLOGY / BUSINESS / NEWS EDITORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

02 NOVEMBER 2010




MOBILE CREDIT CARD MACHINES BOOSTING PAYMENTS INDUSTRY

Sometimes crime benefits consumers. Portable credit card machines were a convenience customers loved, but because of the slightly higher charges retailers and restaurant owners resisted them - until skimming became a problem and now portable card swipe machines are dominating a growing slice of the market.

Paul Kent, managing director of independent credit card swipe machine company, SureSwipe says, "It is impossible to know what market share is without independent research, but it is around 30% at present and growing fast." Most consumers are using them at restaurants, but they have also transformed the payment habits of those who use taxis, buy at trade shows or flea markets, use delivery companies or pay at mobile kiosks.

Kent said: "It is more expensive on the rental and cheaper on the connectivity of these machines, for example we charge R400 per month for the rental on a portable machine and R250 for the fixed machine. This is the industry standard. But connectivity on the portable is R119 per month and on the fixed machine it is R180. "So what businesses, especially smaller businesses lose on the swings they gain on the roundabout, particularly with increased sales and greater client satisfaction because they have the comfort of seeing the card being swiped in front of them.

"The technology is advancing rapidly from wireless links to satellite transmission and even capacity to swipe using smartphones," Kent said. New swipe card machines introduced in Brazil recently cut the time of a swipe to less than 3 seconds, considerably faster than the 20 plus seconds for a regular debit or credit transaction over a wireless link. It can use existing IP networks like Internet, corporate LANs, wireless data-packet networks, and even satellite networks. And new technology could see those who use smartphones soon be able to pay vendors who have swipe machines built into their cellphones.

New technology launched in the United States allows users to swipe their credit or debit cards with their smartphones and pay for virtually anything. The service is the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and works on a smartphone app, which needs a plastic cube cardphone reader. A person who pays you simply signs the screen using their fingertip, this allows the retailer to get paid and the buyer gets a digital receipt via SMS or e-mail.

Already consumers who pay for items in cash or via the internet already get barcodes sent to their phones which they can use to enter museums, buy certain goods or pay for train services like the Heathrow Express. But increasingly paying by cellphone is seen as the norm in many countries from as far afield as Korea and Kenya to South Africa, where companies like Pocit are seeing growing clientele from those who wants to pay a friend, to paying traffic fines or store accounts. There are plusses and drawbacks to greater swipe card machine accessibility.

Kent said, "There are some minor concerns as the machine makes use of sim cards, which can be taken out and used in any cellphone - for instance a waiter could take this out and use it in his or her cellphone to make personal calls. It is quite difficult to do this but not impossible. "But overall credit card swipe machines can also prevent fraud or criminal activity. If a credit card has been reported stolen, the credit card processor will not be able to validate the card when it has been swiped in the machine. If the credit card company has frozen the account, the machine will decline the card and the credit card company will receive an alert about the transaction.

"For consumers the peace of mind of watching the transaction take place in front of them and the convenience of the machine being brought to their table, if they are at a restaurant; or the capability of travelling or shopping without cash and paying a taxi-driver with a card, as an example, is a significant advantage. "This market is growing rapidly and soon we might tell our grandchildren that once cards were taken from us and swiped at some distance from us, in the future consumers will have much greater control and this should reduce security risks considerably," Kent said. "And whatsmore giving consumers more convenience and additional ways to pay sees dramatic improvements in revenue earning capacity for small and medium businesses."


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Paul Kent, Managing Director, SureSwipe 011 581 1216 or 082 908 0222 or fax 0865559916
www.sureswipe.co.za/

Issued by Charlene Smith Communications
www.charlenesmith.net
Fax: 0866231777


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