Milan, Italy-based mobile POS (mPOS) solution firm JUSP S.p.A. is gearing up to have its Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) -compliant device ready for the U.S. market. On Sept. 25, 2013, JUSP launched what it calls the first "all-in-one" chip-and-PIN compatible mPOS in Europe. JUSP said the device measures about 5 centimeters per side and integrates a chip card reader with a PIN pad into one unit that attaches to the audio jack of smartphones and tablet computers.
JUSP, which manufactures the device and operates the payment gateway over which the mPOS transactions are processed, will sell the device through its website and reseller agreements with third-party ISOs to merchants in Italy, and in the 27 other European Union countries, at a retail price per unit of 39 euros ($49). JUSP offers a flat per transaction fee of 2.5 percent.
JUSP Chief Executive Officer Stefano Calderano said the device offers several advantages over the mPOSs of JUSP's competitors. The other devices are bigger than standard smartphones, over twice as expensive for merchants to purchase as the JUSP device, and only function wirelessly with mobile devices, according to Calderano. With competitors' systems, salespeople must operate the mobile device in one hand and the reader in the other, which makes it "a completely different user experience than the mobile POS that's been in the U.S.," he said.
JUSP's solution and business model is similar to that of mobile payment firm Square Inc. Calderano believes that for JUSP to be successful in the United States, it had to adopt Square's approach. "Our competitive advantage is that, as Square does in the U.S., we control the whole value chain," Calderano said.
However, the two companies' offerings differ significantly. Square's dongle, which also attaches to the audio jack of mobile devices, is simple in comparison to JUSP's solution. The mag-stripe reading dongle has no PIN pad and is cheaper to manufacture than JUSP's chip card reader and PIN pad combination, which comes embedded with the more complex EMV security logic, Calderano said.
Additionally, Square can give away the dongle to merchants and subsidize the cost with merchant fees. Calderano said JUSP research showed merchants were willing to pay at most 50 euros (including taxes) for its chip-and-PIN reader.
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