The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 23, 2009 • Issue 09:03:02
Accepting payments, iPhone style
Inner Fence LLC, a software development company specializing in business applications for the iPhone, and Merchant Focus Processing Inc. have partnered to deliver a payment solution for use with iPhones.
This bundled solution offers merchant accounts through Merchant Focus Processing, a payment gateway through Authorize.Net and Credit Card Terminal software through Inner Fence.
The features of the Credit Card Terminal include:
- Easy set-up, no extra hardware needed
- Transactions sent quickly over cell or WiFi networks
- Address verification service and card security code supported
- Instant feedback for approval or rejection of charges
- Card numbers never stored, sent directly to Authorize.Net with secure sockets layer encryption
Additional Authorize.Net features include e-mail receipts, QuickBooks integration, transaction history and reports.
According to Derek Del Conte, co-founder of Inner Fence, his company's partnership with Merchant Focus Processing gives Inner Fence customers a complete mobile POS solution that includes acceptance of all major credit cards in real-time on the Credit Card Terminal.
John Waldron, Chief Executive Officer of Merchant Focus Processing, believes the Credit Card Terminal is going to reshape perceptions of mobile payments among small businesses. "Having the power to take out your phone and securely accept a credit card in real time is very powerful for any mobile merchant," Waldron stated recently.
The iPhone virtual terminal is said to be especially suited for festival, fair and show exhibitors; photographers; in-home repair specialists; home-party sales associates; independent contractors; and computer technicians. Joseph Iuso, CEO of UseMyBank Services Inc. told The Green Sheet the "mobile [payment option] is definitely something that's picking up.
"Apple basically broke it open to more of a wider audience. ... Two years ago, with my Nokia phone, I could actually go in and buy GPS navigation software for my M95 [phone] and basically pay through my mobile phone by putting in my credit card number and expiration date and name, and off I went."
Iuso said Apple capitalized on existing technology and marketed en masse. "They've done what Sony did with the Walkman," he said. Iuso even uses an iPhone wi get that allows him to send money to anyone with a PayPal account.
The mobile beyond
Consumers are accustomed to giving credit card information over the phone or on secure Web pages. And the mobile phone terminal is more secure than the knuckle buster, but how can merchants convince customers of that?
To answer this question, Iuso cited the "halo" effect. "As long as you trust who you're dealing with, typically [you] don't ask any questions when you're making the payment," he said. "If you trust the repairman, then you're going to trust that his device is certified.
"If the device says it's a Royal Bank-certified device, you're more likely going to trust it [over] some third-party, mom-and-pop processor." Iuso added that brand recognition would be a significant factor influencing consumer acceptance.
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