Despite the abundance of portable card readers, the sales pitch is often the same: it's for babysitters, gardeners, flea market sellers and other small merchants. Payleven says the market can be much bigger.
"There' been too much made in the payments sector that mobile acceptance is only for micro merchants," says Ian Marsh, a managing director at Payleven. "There is a need among larger businesses."
Payleven, of Berlin, recently began tailoring its mobile chip-and-PIN card reader to support the needs of more complex merchants. The use case is a larger business that has a number of field staff that take payments on-site, such as a taxi company, Marsh says.
"You don't want a bunch of drivers out there taking payments that are tied to a bunch of different accounts," he says.
One of the first adopters of Payleven's new technology is MendmyI, an iPhone repair company. "We see a lot of opportunity for repair businesses, particularly repairs that are done in the field," Marsh says.
Payleven's new management feature allows merchants to monitor transactions from different mobile devices. It also provides control over user permissions.
"You can give users certain abilities to give out refunds or not give them out, for example," Marsh says.
Payleven also supports a range of printers to produce receipts for mobile payments. "This allows us to target merchants in a high-velocity retail environment, where it's not always easy to send email receipts," Marsh says.
In Europe, there are a number of mobile acceptance products—including PayPal's Here, and tools from Elavon, Intuit, iZettle and mPowa—that are racing against each other to support mobile chip-and-PIN payments. Payleven's product has had some early success, and its move to centralized management for chip-and-PIN payments ups the ante.
"Not many other providers offer chip-and-PIN mobile acceptance for multi-accounts functionality today, so it should certainly differentiate Payleven in the market," says Zil Bareisis, a senior analyst for Celent.
"Mobile point of sale providers are targeting larger merchants with more complex card acceptance needs than the traditional mobile point of sale customers, which are small businesses and micro merchants," he says.
Square is targeting larger businesses via products such as Square Register, an iPad-based system that performs some functions of a point of sale terminal. PayPal is also leveraging tablet technology to target mid-size merchants. Square would not comment on its strategy for chip-and-PIN cards, and PayPal did not return requests for comment by deadline.
Among other companies, mPowa offers a similar "centralized" chip-and-PIN service. It's working with a company in Africa that employs a team of drivers who accept payments upon delivery of goods.
These drivers have traditionally taken cash payments, but mPowa is deploying technology that will allow chip-and-PIN mobile acceptance that is managed by executives at the delivery company's headquarters. MPowa is also deploying the technology in Latin America.
"An executive can use GPS location to determine where the drivers are, and to track and analyze the top performing delivery people in terms of payments volume," says Steve Emecz, vice president for business development at mPowa. "The platform enables the payments information to be passed back to the enterprise. So in addition to viewing a dashboard that tracks mobile payments, the executives can also use the technology to feed performance information into its core business system."