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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

MPowa launches UK's Square

UK e-commerce outfit Powa has become the latest firm to launch a plastic dongle and mobile app that turns smartphones into payment card readers.


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This is non-compliant in the UK

Cardholder Present transactions in the UK are mandated to be Chip and PIN verified, and since this device is swipe only (like Square in the US) it would not reach the minimum requirements for such payments.

I doubt that any UK acquiring banks would issue merchant accounts for use with this device.  It wouldn't be supported by Visa or Mastercard, and is against the recommendations of the Payments Council.

I fail to see how this has any legs at all.  It strikes me nothing more than another media stunt by Mr Wagner.

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Comments: (2)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 24 January, 2012, 13:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Sounds about right.  I was waiting for iZettle to arrive in the UK as its solution is a Chip reader, as I recall.  Currently in Sweden only.  Its EMV approved.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 January, 2012, 16:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Unfortunately iZettle is only a Chip reader, and whilst EMV compliant is not a full Chip and PIN device.  At present that won't help in the UK market either.

The only compliant solutions at present are Pin Entry Devices (PEDs) that link to smartphones using Bluetooth.  The data is end-to-end encrypted so that the phone is not in scope for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

There are a couple of relatively recent entries into the market in this area.