On the day that iZettle confirms its intention to launch in the UK, Brit operator O2 has confirmed that it too is launching into this ridiculously crowded sector.
Thanks to the massive success of Square in the US, everyone’s piling into the market for mobile card reading. PayPal, Intuit, Verifone and others have launched Stateside, while Payleven, SumUp, mPowa and more are battling each other in Europe.
Now, the first operator has made its move.
O2′s Chip and PIN project (mPOS) has the support of Visa Europe and Global Payments, and like all such services it supplies a low cost chip & PIN Pad accessory, although it is connected to the retailer’s existing smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth rather than plugged into the audio jack.
A free eMerit app downloaded on the mobile or tablet manages the card payment transaction, and then sends the customer a receipt via email and/or SMS if required.
It’s available on Android and BlackBerry now, with the iOS version coming soon.
MD of O2 Money, James le Brocq said: “At O2 we understand the importance of the mobile device in digital payments. Our new mPOS service has the ability to transform the revenues of smaller businesses and sole traders by offering their customers the ability to pay with Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards as an alternative to cash.
“mPOS is the latest addition to our portfolio of financial products and services which includes mobile insurance, tablet insurance and more recently, O2 Wallet, an innovative new service designed to digitise your physical wallet onto your mobile.”
It marks another first move into m-payments by O2, which launched the O2 Money wallet earlier this year.