Visa has unveiled Tap to Phone, a new software-only solution that enables merchants to accept contactless payments on Android NFC mobile phones, without the need for any additional hardware.
The solution is currently undergoing pilot testing in seven countries with five more to be added “over the next several months”.
“Today, billions of people expect the convenience of being able to pay with their cards wherever they shop,” Visa says.
“Yet, there are still some situations when using a card isn’t always an option. Whether it’s a micro-business that doesn’t have the infrastructure to accept cards, or a frontline employee on a retail showroom floor, there’s a need for a simpler solution.
“Tap to Phone makes it easy for sellers to use Android smartphones to accept payments without any additional hardware. It’s as simple as downloading an app.
“This means millions more sellers everywhere will be able to accept contactless payments using current-generation mobile devices. Customers win too, as they’ll be able [to] make payments in seconds by simply tapping their contactless card, phone or watch to the seller’s Tap to Phone-enabled smartphone.”
“While 40% of the national GDP in emerging markets is contributed by small and micro-sellers, fewer than 10% of these sellers accept digital payments,” the payments network adds.
“Many of these small and micro-sellers do not have registered businesses and average one to three employees. Typical use cases include kiosks, street stalls, food trucks, clothing shops, the self-employed and professional services.
“Visa believes Tap to Phone can help these businesses increase sales by preventing lost sales and improve cash flow and margins.”
“Building on top of an EMV chip transaction, Tap to Phone’s sophisticated software terminal inside the smartphone generates the same dynamic security as a traditional terminal does today for every transaction, giving every party peace of mind that their data is safe,” Visa says.
“Partner-led pilots have already been announced in Canada, the UK, Ukraine, Turkey, Costa Rica and Malaysia, and additional pilots are planned in Poland, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Australia over the next several months.”
The partners include Samsung, whose Samsung POS solution began rolling out globally in October 2019 and will be available, along with other mPOS solutions, on the company’s new rugged Galaxy XCover Pro.