BPI is offering SMEs in the Philippines the opportunity to turn their smartphones and tablets into point-of-sale devices that accept credit card payments.
Even as online and mobile payment systems like PayPal are on the rise in the region, there is a space amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that need catering: a point-of-sale payment system that supports readily-available infrastructure. For most small businesses, this means mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
In the Asia Pacific region, there are solutions like Swiff and MOLcube, as well as Square in the US. PayPal is also offering its PayPal Here brand, which lets merchants accept credit card payments with a mobile device attachment.
In the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has launched its BPI mPOS product, which turns any WiFi- or data-enabled smartphone or tablet into a mobile point of sale (POS) system. Any Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card will work with the system.
At present, the system works on Android and iOS devices, although the developers are working on an app for BlackBerry devices. To use BPI mPOS, the merchant needs to install an app and attach the mPOS terminal through the device’s 3.5 mm stereo jack. Credit cards can then be scanned through the device, and financial information will be sent through BPI’s central server.
The customer signs not on a piece of paper, but on the smartphone or tablet screen instead. Receipts are then sent to the customer via email. According to BPI, the mPOS complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) and does not store any information on the host smartphone or tablet. As an added security, the device does not work on jailbroken devices.
The device is being piloted to an initial batch of 600 merchants.