The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 14, 2008 • Issue 08:07:01
Swipe, print, done
Which is the better mousetrap? The one where the cheese is placed under the cage suspended overhead? Or the trap where the cheese is already inside the cage, and the trap door flips down after the mouse enters?
Maybe one device is better than the other, or maybe not. Perhaps one trap is best for catching city mice and the other trap nabs country mice more efficiently. It all depends.
As it is for mousetraps, so it is for POS terminal systems for mobile merchants. The first feature that jumps out about Blue Bamboo's P25-M receipt printer is that the card swiper is integrated into the printer, not into the mobile handheld device itself.
According to Trent Peterson, Vice President and U.S. Leader of Blue Bamboo, that decision provides the most flexibility for merchants, acquirers and developers.
"By placing the card swiper on the printer, we enable the merchant to choose his or her preferred wireless carrier, compatible cell phone, Blackberry or PDA [personal digital assistant], as well as the best wireless carrier to meet their coverage needs while providing an out-of-the-box solution," Peterson said.
The printer's mag stripe reader scans Track 1, 2 and 3 payment card data. The P25-M is compatible with all mobile handhelds enabled by Bluetooth wireless technology, the company reported.
By downloading Blue Bamboo's Pocket POS software directly to merchants' handhelds - such as Blackberrys - the printer can begin processing secure POS transactions in short order.
It also works with handhelds that operate on the Java wireless application. "When using a Java-based phone, most wireless carriers require the end-user to have a data plan, which many people have today to send text messages," Peterson said.
"Merchants can find a low-cost, compatible Java phone for their P25-M and only set up a data plan on the phone for transaction processing and text messaging."
The P25-M does not process, capture or store cardholder data. Peterson said the printer is a "slave" to the Pocket POS software application, other mobile phone-based POS application, virtual terminal or personal computer-based POS software that meets or exceeds the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
The printer weighs under 10 ounces and prints 200 barcodes, receipts or coupons per charge. It can be worn on a belt, affixed to a tabletop at an industry event or secured to the dashboard of a car.
Blue Bamboo provides accessories that allow the printer to be mounted, worn or tethered to suit merchants' needs.
"What makes the P25-M so flexible and secure is that it is not fixed to any phone, surface or belt clip, unless the end-users require it to be fastened and secured, so merchants can hand over the P25-M to help cardholders feel safe that their card doesn't need to leave their possession," Peterson said.
Blue Bamboo, a division of Shera International and a sister company to Shera Technology, is headquartered in Shanghai, China. Its North American office is in Lake Mary, Fla.
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