Verifone is trying to end (or at least limit) the endless upgrade cycle for mobile point-of-sale devices with a new mPOS sled that tries to support as many standards — and as few proprietary features — as possible.
The newly announced PAYware Mobile e355, which Verifone unveiled at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show in New York, supports payments using mag-stripe, EMV chip and contactless cards, as well as NFC-based mobile payments including Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Softcard, 9to5 Mac reported.
The new sled also supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. But instead of attaching to the handheld device using proprietary connectors — an approach that made many existing mPOS devices obsolete when Apple shifted to its Lightning connector in 2012, for example — the terminal supports USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The new sled also has an option for a barcode scanner, which could be used for paper coupons, plastic gift cards or screen-based barcode payment mPOS systems like those of Starbucks or the not-yet-launched Wal-Mart-backed CurrentC.
While the pick-your-own-device-and-mobile-payments pitch is getting most of the attention, more significant to retailers may be the fact that the new terminal will also support Verifone’s Secure Commerce Architecture, a point-to-point encryption approach that sends card data directly to the merchant’s processor without sending it through the retailer’s internal point-of-sale system, according to Verifone.
That’s intended to make PCI security audits easier to handle, and make merchants less likely to be the source of a payment-card data breach like the ones that grabbed the wrong kind of headlines for Target and Home Depot.
The e355 is slated to be available in late summer 2015, but Verifone hasn’t said anything more detailed about price or release of the device, or when apps that support it on iOS, Android or Windows Phone will be available.
Verifone and Samsung also announced a global partnership at the NRF Big Show that’s intended to deliver Android-based mobile point-of-sale products for big retailers. The initial offering will be based on ruggedized Samsung Galaxy Tab Active tablets with 8-inch screens, the companies said.
Apple devices have long been the preferred mobile devices for mPOS among big retailers, in particular the iPod Touch, which can be locked down more easily than a smartphone-based mPOS.