Thursday, 03 August 2017 02:23

New Tap2App launches in Australia turning smartphones into payment terminals without card reader

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Tap2App lets merchants use NFC-enabled smartphones as credit and debit card readers without plug-ins or wireless hardware, as seen with competing devices, and it is being available first in Australia and NZ.

US firm­ xPressTap has launched its “Tap2App” merchant payment solution and pilot programme.

The company explains that Tap2App lets “micro-retailers and small business owners use their smartphones to accept card payments from consumers without the hassle of attaching a dongle or a portable card reader".

xPressTap proudly boasts its patented technology “turns any NFC-enabled smartphone or pad into a virtual card reader and can reduce merchant fees by as much as 25%".

Billing its Tap2App technology as revolutionary, we’re told that it has “proprietary payment terminal functionality and chip card (EMV) reading capability that resides in the app, which eliminates the need for separate card readers or mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) devices".

Given this development, it should come as no surprise to discover the company stating it is “on a mission to eliminate the cost and burden of hardware and dongles from the payments process for sellers of all shapes and sizes including micro-merchants such as contractors, food trucks, pop-up shops, charities, outdoor event hosts, self-employed service providers and a variety of on-the-go sellers".

For consumers, there is no need to download an app, the transaction is completed with a simple “tap” of their contactless payment card directly to the merchant’s mobile phone or mobile pad – with the ease of Tap and Go technology at many stores people in Australia have been using for years, long before the US, as anyone reading in Australia is well aware of.  

Joe Lynam, chief executive of xPressTap said: “Small businesses are the backbone of every economy, yet too many despise the cost and hassle of the payments process and the cumbersome hardware. So much so, that a large percentage remain 'cash only' and off the grid.”

“We look forward to enabling on-the-go sellers with a convenient, cashless capability using the power and simplicity of their own mobile phones.”  

The company notes that “mobile point-of-sale transactions are expected to account for roughly 20% of all global retail transactions made in 2021, and the total value of goods transacted through mPOS devices will exceed $2.3 trillion, according to Juniper Research".   

“By eliminating the need for a separate mPOS device, xPressTap eliminates friction and makes it possible for anyone to accept money using only a smartphone.”

xPressTap says that it “has two patents and three International PCT patents pending for its hardware-less technology” and that “the solution is compatible with all major contactless payment card brands including American Express Expresspay, China UnionPay QuickPass, Discover Zip, MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave".

Give that Australia has Paypal, Square and other card payment accepting technologies available for small businesses to buy in stores like Officeworks, Tap2App is clearly gunning for these providers and gunning for the transaction revenues that are up for grabs.

Presumably this will cause the companies with hardware card readers to become more competitive on pricing, but we’ll just have to see how quickly competition hots up between these players now that Tap2App has started testing its service in Australia and New Zealand, which would obviously be in preparation for a future global rollout.    

xPressTap says: “Tap2App is a turnkey peer-to-peer and merchant payment solution which supports the broad needs of the small business, complete with a payment gateway and full featured app that supports everything from product catalogs and payment acceptance to inventory tracking, invoicing and receipts.”

At the same time, the company states it “offers a white label partner solution and developer SDKs and APIs".

Tap2App is launching initial pilots in Australia and New Zealand together with merchants, as well as alliance and distribution partners, with more information available at xPressTap here.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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