WorldPay, the leader in payment processing, risk and alternative payments in the UK and Europe, today announced that it is extending its pilot Pay As You Go Card Acceptance Service for Micro Merchants.
The WorldPay service works by linking a smartphone app to a separate secure chip and PIN device and allows merchants to accept Visa and MasterCard debit and credit card payments. With 700 start up and small businesses already benefiting from the service, WorldPay is opening up the trial service to hundreds more small businesses, including merchants at The Prince's Trust Christmas Fayre, ahead of a full commercial launch of the service in the new year.
WorldPay is also announcing the availability of a new chip and PIN device that is compatible with the iOS operating system, meaning that the service is now available on a full range of smartphones, including iPhone, Blackberry and Android. The service is now also available for 'Cardholder Not Present' transactions, meaning that users of the service are able to accept card payments over the telephone, as well as face-to-face payments. Visitors to the WorldPay stand at The Business Start-Up show at Olympia on 22nd and 23rd November will be able to see live demos of the new devices and sign up to join the pilot programme.
The new service is designed to enable merchants that would otherwise need to rely on cash, cheque or bank transfers to start accepting card payments quickly and easily. The trial service is priced on a pay as you go basis, with no set-up fees or ongoing costs, making it ideal for 'micro merchants' who take infrequent card payments. As a special offer for trial participants, WorldPay is offering the chip and PIN device, normally worth £150, for free. The pricing for the pilot programme is just 65p per debit card payment and 3.3% for credit card transactions.
Geraldine Wilson, Micro Merchants Managing Director, WorldPay, commented: "We are already seeing how this service can make a real difference to all types of small businesses, from freelancers and amateur organisations through to market traders and home sellers. It's a pretty tough economic environment to be starting or running a micro business at the moment so we're delighted to be introducing this new service which will help these businesses to increase sales and improve cash flow. The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we will be rolling the scheme out to many more merchants in the coming months ahead of a full launch next year."
As part of Phase 2 of the pilot programme, WorldPay will be providing devices to over 30 businesses that will be trading at The Prince's Trust Christmas Fair which begins on 3rd December at Pewterer's Hall, Oat Lane, London, EC2V 7DE.
WorldPay has undertaken extensive research into the market and identified a huge number of small businesses and hobbyists that would benefit from accepting card payments but are currently put off by what they perceive to be inflexible terminal hire contracts and high monthly service charges. Examples include mobile hairdressers, tradesmen, home sellers, scout groups, sporting clubs and market traders for whom card acceptance will mean increased sales, better cash flow management and a more 'professional' image. The new service is designed specifically at the millions of merchants that fall into this category.
Geraldine concluded: "For many businesses and consumers, card payments are quickly becoming the default method of payment for any transaction. 89% of adults in the UK have at least one debit or credit card and one in three UK consumers carry less than £5 in cash. This means that those merchants who don't accept card payments risk turning away a significant amount of business. The pay as you go model makes it cost-effective for even the smallest businesses to accept cards and the set-up process could not be simpler, allowing micro merchants to take payments from any location and at any time."
Merchants participating in the scheme just need a BlackBerry or Android smartphone or tablet, on which they can download the WorldPay application. Each participating business will receive a free chip and PIN device which connects to the user's mobile phone via Bluetooth to quickly and securely process card payments.
WorldPay's Pay As You Go Card Acceptance Service is fully compliant with all relevant legislation and has been approved by VISA as complying with card payment industry security standards. The service utilises chip and PIN technology, meaning that it works in a way with which all businesses and consumers are familiar, helping to boost consumer engagement.