To say that the mobile payment industry is fragmented would be a major understatement. Rival companies are all focused on finding the best mobile payment solution possible – the only problem is that they all have different ideas on how best to do it. The sheer variety of mobile payment methods is a major headache for businesses that are trying to choose the most appropriate payment terminal for the long haul.
Former Google Wallet creator and current PayPal executive Osama Bedier decided to make his own “future-proof” point-of-sale terminal called Poynt. Bedier designed Poynt to accept every single form of payment that currently exists, including traditional cards, EMV (chip and PIN), NFC (Apple Pay and Google Wallet), Bluetooth, Bitcoin, and QR codes. Most payment terminals only support a few of these methods and most will have to update to include support for EMV cards by 2015 when a key law change goes into effect.
One half of the Poynt is a tablet where the merchant can enter and view all the necessary info. The other half, which faces the customer, looks like a phablet with a printer on the bottom. Poynt runs a forked version of Android, so developers can tweak it to suit their needs. Bedier added a bunch of ports, too, so no business is left out in the cold when it comes to future expansion. Poynt has an Ethernet port; supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G; and offers a USB extension, so you can attach a cash drawer or other peripherals. It’s powered by two quad-core processors and has an eight-hour battery life. Of course, merchants can also just plug it in at the counter to keep Poynt juiced up all day long.
Business owners can use Poynt’s three different apps to keep track of their finances, manage their books, and gain insights into customer behavior. Customers don’t need to download any app and can simply pay with whatever payment method they feel most comfortable with. NFC payments are made by tapping your phone against the screen; you can also tap your EMV card or swipe your traditional credit card at the terminal. Bluetooth payments and QR codes work as well, but are less commonly used than even NFC; Poynt’s appeal lies in its ability to be universal.
The Poynt Smart Terminal is available for pre-order for $300 and will ship to merchants in early 2015. Developers can pre-order a developer kit for $500 that will ship later this year.
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