Typically, I don't cover or analyze so-called payments innovations that merely embrace and extend the legacy infrastructure, but a new middleware startup, CardFlight, could actually operate as a payments "air traffic controller" because its code sits directly between the consumer and the processor.

CardFlight announced the availability of a private beta last week for the iOS and Android platforms. Its encrypted magnetic-stripe card reader and simple software development tools allow developers to handle swiped card payments within mobile apps without becoming payments experts. It focuses on card-present payments and charges 10 cents per transaction.

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