A Singapore-based company last week announced the planned launched of a mobile-payment service that uses a card-reader device similar to the one offered by Square Inc. and other companies.

SSCP Payment Services Pvt. Ltd.’s Swiff mobile-payment platform uses a plug-in reader to turn smartphones and tablets into point-of-sale terminals, the company announced March 22.

Swiff can work on various mobile operating systems, including Apple iOS, Google Android and Research in Motion's BlackBerry; a version for Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 will be available soon, the company said.

Select merchants in Singapore have tested Swiff since the middle of last year, processing about US$500,000 in sales during the trial, SSCP Payment Services said.

During a press conference, the transcripts of which were published on the company’s website, Etienne Van den Bogaert, SCCP chief operating officer, said the service rolls out first next week in Singapore and Malaysia and soon will launch in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Instead of working directly with merchants, SCCP will use banks as financial partners, who would push the product to merchants and take a small percentage of the sale, Van den Bogaert added. The service would accept both MasterCard and Visa cards.

Electronics giant Samsung Inc. soon will include Swiff in a tablet targeted at the food and beverage industry, and SCCP is planning to offer a peer-to-peer funds transfer service tied to Swiff within a year, Van den Bogaert said.

The launch of Swiff comes less than a week after online transactions company PayPal Inc. released a similar device in the U.S. (see story).

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