Summer 2010
Payments on the Go

PAYware Mobile allows retailers to process credit card transactions from their iPhones.

As a retailer, imagine being able to conduct sales transactions no matter where you are. Imagine having a slip-on case that attaches to your mobile phone and allows you to swipe cards without being in your store. The Verifone’s PAYware Mobile system lets retailers do just that.

How it works

Pete Bartolik, from Verifone’s media relations, says the system uses a card encryption sleeve and a Connect gateway to securely accept credit cards anywhere, anytime. The card encryption sleeve is an iPhone peripheral that you slip on—it turns the iPhone into a wireless credit card reader. The system also includes a downloadable app and a stylus to get customer signatures.

The PAYware Mobile software application handles the communication between the secure payment gateway, PAYware Connect, and the iPhone. PAYware Connect is VeriFone’s payment gateway. Because it is a key element in VeriFone’s end-to-end encryption, it is the only gateway service that can be used. It is recognized and accepted by all major payment processors. The iPhone credit card encryption sleeve installation is easy. It plugs into the iPhone dock connector and cradles the phone. Downloading the application is easy as well. iPhone users can download it from the iPhone App Store as they would any other app.

The customer’s credit card is swiped; a tone lets the retailer know the transaction went through. She then signs the iPhone screen with the stylus. A receipt can be emailed to the customer. Receipts contain all necessary information required by payment processing regulations. The headers and footers of the receipt are customizable via the Merchant Portal on the PAYware Connect gateway.

Costs and other details

Bartolik says the suggested retail price for the gateway service plan is $15 per month and 17 cents a transaction. The hardware cost will vary by reseller; the software app is free. Retailers also have to pay standard transaction fees with their existing or new merchant accounts.

According to Bartolik, PAYware Mobile’s ability to swipe credit cards helps reduce transaction errors. Most other iPhone payment applications require manually keying card data and the iPhone by itself does not have the capability to take a card swipe, he says.

What makes PAYware Mobile unique is that the credit card encryption sleeve is the only mobile product that delivers end-to-end encryption, Bartolik says. “From the moment the card is swiped, data is encrypted and stays that way until the bank receives it. The phone never sees, nor does it store, any sensitive data. The PAYware Mobile credit card encryption sleeve fits any iPhone 3G or 3GS model and it reduces costs by making transactions eligible for lower-cost ‘card present’ rates,” he adds.

Currently, PAYware Mobile is not integrated with other POS systems, but retailers can export financial reports for reconciliation. Transaction history can be viewed online.

In addition to providing mobile payment options, Bartolik says the system opens up payment technology to retailers who have not been able to invest in more elaborate POS systems. For those retailers who already have an in-store, onsite POS system, the PAYware Mobile provides a new mobile payment option.

“With the iPhone and PAYware Mobile, retailers have a multi-purpose device that incorporates card acceptance, mobile phone, internet access, [and] email,” Bartolik says. “Consumers increasingly want to pay by card, and if merchants can’t accommodate that need anyplace, anytime, they’re going to
lose sales.”

Terah Shelton

Terah Shelton is a freelance writer based in Alabama. Her work has appeared in Women's Health, Every Day with Rachael, and more.
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