The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 08, 2010 • Issue 10:03:01
Self-branded smart phone terminal
San Francisco-based App Ninjas Inc. introduced its version of the iPhone payment acceptance application, a suddenly flourishing product that didn't exist until recent months but now has a growing field of providers.
The App Ninjas terminal, called Swipe, has its own cachet; among other things, it allows ISOs and merchants to brand their portals with logos and other flair.
According to App Ninjas co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Zander Ford, an ISO that wants to have its own branded payment application on the iPhone typically undergoes a months-long process involving, among other things, building the application and awaiting its approval by Apple.
By contrast, with Swipe an ISO can be up and running with its own branded terminal within an hour or two. That ISO can then offer similar branding options to merchants, all supplied through App Ninjas.
"We looked at that and said, 'OK, let's see if we can do something smarter,'" Ford said. "We already had an application approved in the App Store. ... Why not just let them use our application and put their brand on it?
"ISOs want to maintain their brand presence in front of their customers and give their merchants a tool which will drive more transactions and make them, as an ISO, very technologically savvy in a turnkey manner."
Swipe has a slew of other features befitting its ninja programmers. Dovetailing with the self-branding feature is its compatibility with any gateway, another feature that lends itself to same-day operability for ISOs eager to get their mobile offering swiftly off the ground. ISOs contracted with a certain gateway provider can integrate that gateway with the Swipe payment portal.
Swipe offers signature authentication - whereby the signer simply moves his or her finger along the terminal's touch screen - and e-mail receipts (Ford said a printer for paper receipts would be available in the coming months).
"E-mail is the way to go," Ford said. "You develop a database of all your clients, which is a really nice tool for marketing purposes."
E-mail writ large
Ford said the e-mail receipts can integrate with the iPhone's Global Positioning System to provide a wider breadth of purchasing information. In addition to date, time and cost of a transaction, consumers can also receive information about where and from whom they bought something.
Furthermore, merchants can customize their receipts to include information like store address, phone number and company logo. For the time being, Swipe transactions are keyed manually, but Ford said a companion swipe device that attaches to the iPhone would be available in April. He also said App Ninjas would be releasing self-branding payment applications for Android, Tablet and BlackBerry devices in the near future.
"If you want, we have designers on staff that can design custom e-mail layouts, can do marketing materials for you, or you can get what's called the splash screen: when you first launch the application, on that first load, it has a warming up screen that has the company's logo on it and whatever branding they want to have on there," Ford said. "And when a merchant is using the application, we have a signature pad that slides up and down, and when it's down the company's logo is there."
App Ninjas Inc.
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