CHARGE Anywhere, a mobile payments company and gateway provider, has introduced a system that enables the Google Nexus S phone to function as an NFC-enabled mobile payments terminal. Using a mobile application downloaded to the device, merchants can accept NFC payments using just their Nexus S smartphone. An optional printer and swiper enables merchants to accept traditional credit card payments as well.
NFC & Traditional Payments Accepted
With its mobile payment platform for Android, shown off at last week's CTIA conference in Orlando, Florida, CHARGE Anywhere is making a name for itself in the growing mobile payments space that includes competitors like VeriFone, Square and Intuit. With CHARGE Anywhere's system, merchants can accept NFC-enabled payments, such as those from MasterCard's PayPass and Visa's payWave (both contactless payment systems), using only their mobile phone.
For traditional credit card processing, the company also provides a combination card swiper and receipt printer which connects to the mobile application over Bluetooth. Printer/swipers are available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad devices while an optional audio jack swiper and sleeve are available for the iPhone only.
By Q2 2011, CHARGE Anywhere plans to add PayPal support to its application to supplement the payment methods it accepts, which now include Cash, Check, Credit, Gift/Loyalty cards and ACH/eCheck payments.
The benefit of using the CHARGE Anywhere solution, says the company, is that a merchant can bring their own account from their own bank to the service, instead of having to drop that and sign up for a new one. The company supports all major card processors and allows its transactions to be uploaded into QuickBooks.
The new Android solution is being made available as a software update to the Android application already available in both the official Android Market and the Amazon Appstore for Android. CHARGE Anywhere has its software in other app stores too, including iTunes, RIM's BlackBerry App World and the Windows Marketplace (for Windows Mobile; a Windows Phone 7 version is in the works). JME and Brew versions are available as well, with the Brew version arriving in Verizon's VCast apps store soon.
NFC, or near field communications, is an emerging technology that allows for short-range, wireless data transfers between two devices, such as a mobile phone and a point-of-sale system. Google is reportedly working on its own mobile payments system with Citigroup and MasterCard, according to a new report out today. Other initiatives in the U.S. include Isis, a carrier-led NFC payments system with Discover and Barclay Card as partners and Visa's In2Pay, which enables NFC transactions on a number of mobile devices through the use of microSD cards either inserted into the phone itself or into a case for the phone.