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Card payments on the go

A growing range of mobile solutions is transforming transactions between retailers and  their customers.

Forget cash in hand, the latest technology from payment solution company mPowa allows individuals to take payment on the spot via credit or debit card through their mobile phone.

The service works by users downloading a mobile app and connecting a reader to their mobile phone. Once the reader is connected it can be used to swipe the magnetic strip on a credit or debit card or to insert the card to use the Chip and PIN option.

The service allows individuals to take payment on the move and could potentially be used by fashion retailers in a number of ways. The first instance that comes to mind is for those independent retailers that don’t currently accept card payments. mPowa offers a value rate of 2.95% plus 25p per transaction for new merchant accounts. For those that do already have a merchant account, the charges are reduced to 0.25% (minimum charge 25p) per transaction.

The second is for taking payments on international trips or at trade shows. Only requiring a mobile phone and reader means retailers and brands will be able to take payments upfront wherever they are. The app is a multi-currency service so payment can be made in whichever currency is preferred.

The service could potentially also be used in-store by staff to reduce queue times and provide another way in which to make the customer experience a simpler and hassle-free one. Once payment has been taken, the mPowa solution then sends a receipt to the customer via SMS or email. This also allows retailers to capture the customer data for future marketing and promotional offers.

In order to ensure the mPowa service is a secure one, visual buyer identification and transactional location tracking methods are installed. The international payment gateway is also PCI Level 1 compliant in order to reassure retailers that the highest levels of security are implemented.

This month also saw premium menswear brand Pretty Green start to use one-touch technology Simply Tap on its new mobile store, allowing customers (once registered with Simply Tap) to buy, pay and have their purchases delivered with one click on the mobile site.

A recent survey by InMobi showed 71% of UK consumers surveyed expect to use m-commerce in the next 12 months. With a rise in the number of solutions being offered for mobile, this is a channel that could see limitless possibilities and one that all retailers should be looking at investing in.

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