TORONTOIngenico is planning to deploy a new lightweight payments acceptance device in North American markets this fall.
Called iCMP, the device is slightly smaller than a smartphone and weighs only a few ounces. It was recently introduced in France, with a plan for a pilot in the fourth quarter in Canada, with a deployment in the U.S. likely to follow quickly, said David Chaudhari, managing director of Ingenico Canada. Ingenico did not reveal the Canadian pilots partner.
ICMP targets a different segment than the typical mobile point of sale reader, Chaudhari said, saying iCMP is aimed at merchants that while small, are larger than the individually owned businesses that use mobile attachments. And it can be used with all payment methods available.
ICMP, which includes technology from Roam Ingenicos Boston-based mobile payments technology subsidiary accepts EMV chip-and-PIN, mag stripe and Near Field Communication-based contactless payments. It combines mobile point of sale acceptance, mobile commerce management tools and payment processing. ICMP connects to any iOS or Android-based tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth to accept mobile payments. Its based on Telium 2, Ingenicos payment platform and is compatible with security standards from PCI, PayPass and PayWave. By using Bluetooth, the device can connect with computing devices and printers without needing a wire, and at a range that would allow staff to walk around most small stores to collect payments.
Bluetooth technology is also being used by Apple and PayPal, and is considered an alternative to NFC as a way for mobile devices and point of sale terminals to communicate with each other to execute mobile payments. In the case of Ingenico, Bluetooth enables iCMP to be used either near a point of sale terminal or away from the checkout and can be considered a step-up device from traditional mobile phone attachments.
Merchants can move to devices [such as iCMP] as they get larger, said Thierry Denis, president of Ingenico.
ICMPs expansion is part of a broader strategy by Ingenico to enable its point of sale devices to serve as flexible, mobile-friendly customer service tools.
Payments are less of a priority, said Richard Giannini, vice president of product development for Ingenico in Canada, noting Apple has recently deployed iSMP, another Ingenico mobile point of sale device that integrates with iPhone 4 and 4S and iPod touch, in an Apple store location in Toronto.
Apple integrated iSMP into its own payment system so the staff could walk around and take payments instead of having people wait in line to make a payment, Giannini said.
A shift is occurring in mobile point of sale technology, with many providers migrating to larger merchants. Squares in-store products for larger merchants include Square Stand, which adds a card reader to the Square Register tablet app and business management tools.
The Square Stand includes ports that can conned to printers, barcode scanners and cash drawers, and is part of Squares Business in a Box package to lure larger merchants. Unlike Ingenico, Square has not revealed its plans for EMV in Canada, where card swipe payments are increasingly rare, or the U.S., which is gradually migrating toward EMV over the next few years.
Other mobile point of sale providers, such as Leaf, are also targeting larger businesses with solutions that incorporate sales and inventory management.