U.K. firm mPowa is bringing its mobile credit card payment service to the U.S. in hopes of encroaching on Square’s turf when it comes to payments on the go.
mPowa’s service includes a free mobile phone app and a reader that either directly plugs into the device or is run through Bluetooth. It’s able to differentiate itself in that it not only can read magnetic stripe cards, it can also run transactions for chip and PIN cards. In the latter, the card is inserted into the reader, and cardholder inputs his PIN.
The ability to take the chip + PIN card allows mPowa to have an international presence, especially in regions like Europe and Asia where EMV cards dominate. As more companies add EMV cards to provide payment forms with extra security, card readers that accept them will need to make their way into the market.
The mobile app and reader are free. Payment processing costs are .25 percent of a processed credit or debit card payment. Merchants can manage their accounts through an online dashboard, and they can remit receipts by e-mail or SMS.