Another two companies have entered the mobile payments market, so confirming its growing attractiveness to new entrants while threatening to further add to its complexity. US-based Pago Mobile has launched an apps-based mobile payment service that is designed to bring together loyalty programmes, special offers and point-of-sale technology. Consumers access the service via a downloadable app while merchants can use it to convert an iPad into a card reader. “Fuelled by significantly far less funding (about US$2.1 million) Pago’s service is being rolled out today in 53 merchant locations” in Mountain View, California, according to AllThingsD, comparing the new service to better-funded rival Square, to which the newcomer bears some similarity.
The second new contender also has a certain resemblance to Square in its plans. Heartland Payment Systems, which claims to be the fifth-largest payments processor in the US, has launched a new service that enables merchants to accept credit and debit cards through Android-based smartphones or tablets. The new service is called Mobuyle. The company says the service is for bricks-and-mortar merchants who want the capability to process payments off-premises or handle transactions more flexibly on their premises, for instance through queue-busting. Steve Elefant (pictured), Heartland’s CIO, accused rivals of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile processing. Such an approach “doesn’t serve business owners with the optimal technology solution for their businesses and ends up costing merchants substantially more in processing fees.”