The United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) has accredited Payleven, a mobile payments acceptance company, as a payments institution. Payleven is also now part of MasterCard’s mPOS program.
The FSA certification means the company's chip-and-PIN card reader clears the regulator’s security and risk management standards, Payleven said in a March 27 press release. MasterCard's mPOS program vets Payleven's mobile point of sale technology for adhering to industry best practices.
"[Payleven] has been a great fast-follower to Square, one upping them with chip and PIN," says Philip Philliou, a payments consultant. "Although authorization by the UK's Financial Services Authority may not have any technical or regulatory benefit to the company in North America it demonstrates that Payleven's management team is serious about security and wants to work with regulators, and not operate outside of the rules or play in the gray areas of payment regulation.”
Payleven, which has offices in London and Berlin, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company was founded a year ago and began selling its Bluetooth mobile card reader last month.
FSA approval is generally transferrable across Europe. Other companies that sell mobile card readers have received FSA authorization, including iZettle and SumUp. MasterCard mPOS program participants include Square, iZettle and Elavon . Mobile card readers have not always faced an easy time with the card networks — iZettle last year faced scrutiny from Visa Europe over its method of handling card payments.
Payleven offers EMV-compliant mobile card acceptance in Europe. Other companies have also launched Chip-and-PIN readers in Europe, including Elavon, PayPal, and Intuit. Square, which offers a magnetic-stripe card reader in the U.S. and Canada, has not disclosed its plans for chip-and-PIN acceptance.