BPI dongle transforms phones, tablets into mobile POS terminals

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In what could be a game-changer in the field of mobile and e-commerce, the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) has begun the deployment of a new solution in which a dongle could transform a mobile phone or Wi-Fi-enabled tablet into a mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) system.

A merchant at Cucina Andare night market in Glorietta 3 Park shows off the mPOS

Launched officially on Friday, April 28, at the Cucina Andare night market in Glorietta 3 Park, the BPI mPOS is the first of its kind in the country that allows business owners to accept credit card payments with their iOS and Android devices.

The Ayala-owned bank said it is also developing a Blackberry app version and may soon accept ATM cards as well.

While it is a pioneering effort in the country, BPI executives said a similar solution has already been implemented successfully in the US.

The mPOS works through a downloadable application and small attachable device where credit cards can be scanned. The scanned information is then transmitted to a central server via WiFi or mobile cellular connections.

The mPOS is currently being piloted on about 600 devices owned by business owners over a six-month period. BPI said it has tapped Singapore-based systems integrator Swiff for the rollout.

One of the objectives of the test phase, according to BPI, is to determine the problems that local merchants may encounter in their transactions such as the strength of cellular signal or WiFi in the performance of the mPOS.

As for its confidentiality and security, the bank said the mPOS application will ask credit card users to sign using the smartphone or tablet. No paper receipts will be issued but will instead email it to the customer upon confirmation of the purchase.

BPI emphasized that the application doest not save credit information within the devices as it complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) that assure its users of their privacy.

The mPOS does not work in jailbroken devices, the bank also pointed out.

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