Lloyds has become the first UK bank to muscle in on the mobile point-of-sale market, inking a deal with Monitise to hawk the vendor's card acceptance technology to small business customers.
Since the launch of Square in the US a couple of years ago, the likes of iZettle, Payleven, Intuit and PayPal Here have been flooding the UK market with Mpos systems that turn mobile phones into card payment acceptance devices.
Earlier this year, Monitise jumped on the bandwagon but, unlike the other players, it is pitching its white label system not at retailers but at the banks, mobile operators and acquirers who are threatened by the upstarts.
Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has now signed on with Monitise to develop a suite of mobile card acceptance services that will be offered to micro-merchants, start-ups and small business owners from this autumn.
Aidene Walsh, MD, cards, transaction banking, Lloyds Bank, says: "There are more than 3.5 million sole traders in the UK who are missing out at the moment because they do not have access to existing mobile payments technology and we want to plug that gap with a service that is low cost and easy to use."
Walsh says that the Monitise technology will also "be the basis for a number of broader mobile banking initiatives which Lloyds are actively developing for our clients".
Lloyds may be the first UK bank to wade into the Mpos market but Bank of America Merchant Services has already made a move in the US, launching its Mobile Pay on Demand last year.