Remember when payleven made a big old fuss about being the first mobile POS firm to launch a chip and PIN reader? Well, fair enough, it was. But it wasn’t the whole story. The device itself was actually made by UK-based Miura Systems. In fact, virtually all such chip and PIN readers are.
The device in question is the Shuttle, and Miura expects to ship 100,000 of them this year – not just for payleven but for others such as Adyen in Holland.
But the Shuttle is just one product in a range, each with different capabilities that Miura makes on behalf of PayPal, Intuit and more.
Such is the activity in the mobile card reading space, it expects to ship 500,000 in 2013.
Given its neutral position behind these consumer-facing payment specialists, Miura is well-placed to comment on the possible future direction of the sector.
And that’s just what it’s chairman Andrew dark did when we met him…
How many customers do you have at present?
There are four that we built customised devices for, including Intuit and PayPal, and around 16 more that take our generic readers. I think we have around 95 per cent of the market for chip and PIN mobile readers.
It’s such a crowded and competitive space. How can your customers differentiate themselves?
The key will be the back end, linking card readers to extra services that help businesses manage their finances more easily. Some of the firms we work with are very committed to this. The PayPal reader, for example, is full of rich functionality – and much as you would get in a dedicated reader costing hundreds of pounds.
What about your business? How can you evolve what you do?
Well, to make it clear, we’re certainly not going to start selling devices and managing transactions ourselves. We’re a manufacturer. But having said that I can promise lots of innovation. There’s room to develop more stylised readers for trendier environments – products that look like iPods maybe.
What’s the biggest transaction handled on one of your readers.
We did a £100,000 car once.
How resilient are they?
We work on the basis of 500,000 card transactions per device. The batteries last a week on one charge.
Lots has been written about the appeal of mobile POS to small traders and merchants, especially on the grounds of cost and set-up speed. But do you believe that these readers will be adopted by bigger retailers that already have specialist devices?
I do. One of the big selling points of our systems is that they ship almost ‘empty’ in the sense that all the software can be loaded remotely later on. That ability to customise is very appealing. And it’s also much more secure. If you drop a traditional reader, it’s a massive headache retrieving the information and repairing the device. With ours, you just order a new one and re-populate it. We’re definitely going to take this story to big stores.