As Powa begins integrating its new point of sale system with vendor partners, the company expects its experience with EMV-chip acceptance to be a selling point.
"EMV is a core value. It's not a dirty word for us," said Paul Rasori, an executive vice president with Powa.
Powa recently launched PowaPOS, which combines a number of point of sale features such as payments, bar code scanning, a cash drawer and printer. Powa is also offering PowaPOS in European markets and Asia, where it's also increasing its profile through acquisition.
The U.S. card networks set an October 2015 deadline for migrating to EMV, which improves security over magstripe cards but requires merchants to obtain new hardware (gas stations have until October 2017 to add EMV technology). EMV cards are widely used in other countries, where they are commonly called "chip and PIN" when paired with a PIN for added security.
While the mobile point of sale market is rapidly crowding, the U.S. EMV migration for poses a challenge, since most mobile card readers are magstripe-only. Square, which was long silent about its strategy, only recently unveiled an EMV-capable card reader, but the device won't be available until next year. The PayPal Here mobile card reader accepts EMV cards outside the U.S. And Roam, which is owned by Ingenico, is using its global experience as part of a strategy to sell U.S. merchants on EMV acceptance.
Powa has a number of EMV experts on staff, including about a dozen former VeriFone and Ingenico executives who have worked in global payments environments. Rasori worked in a global capacity at Verifone earlier in his career.
Last week Powa announced the integration of its PowaPOS technology with e-Nabler's eMobilePOS software, a mobile point of sale and inventory management program that allows uses tablets and smartphones to generate orders, issue invoices, process payments and manage supplies.
"The PowaPOS team's expertise in EMV payments coupled with their [application programming interfaces] guarantees an easy EMV implementation," said Joel Vasquez, CEO of e-Nabler.
Having experience with EMV is "no small thing," said Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst at consultant at Double Diamond Payments Research.
"The differences between the mag stripe reader and the EMV reader go well beyond physical attributes," he said. "The workflowand therefore the softwareas well as the security components and associated certifications, and the way devices are updated and managed are all different."
EMV is a relatively new feature within mobile, and there are not many players that have gotten it right even in long-time EMV markets, Oglesby said.
"The tech-only players will need to certify to a number of different payments platforms, and if they don't have their certification processes running like a well-oiled machine then delays will cause big business impacts," he said. "Having staff with significant experience in actually getting it done will be invaluable during the conversion."
PowaPOS is built on the company's T-Series, which includes a number of cash register elements; and Powa PIN enables EMV acceptance. Powa also enables iPads to accept chip cards. The company's developer program aides EMV implementation through its software development kit and Web portal, Rasori said.
Powa and e-Nabler hope to glean other benefits from the integration. E-Nabler will be able to use the range of Powa's point of sale bundle to support additional integrations with e-Nabler's merchants.
"They've placed a number of functions, printing, swiping, card readers and barcode readers, into the same system," Vasquez said. "There are other printers and card readers out there, but they are typically from different manufacturers. Having it all under one roof frees us up."
By partnering with merchant service providers and vendors, Powa gets access to a broad range of merchants, Rasori said.