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A post relating to this item from Finextra:

MPowa launches UK's Square

23 January 2012  |  21329 views  |  11
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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.

This is non-compliant in the UK

24 January 2012  |  3889 views  |  1

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.

TagsMobile & onlinePayments

Comments: (2)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon | 24 January, 2012, 13:57

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.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 24 January, 2012, 16:31

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. 

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