US payments processor Payment Data Systems (PDS) is the latest competitor to try its hand at offering a mobile payments service. The company’s new service will be called iRemotePay and will initially be available for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company plans to make it available for Android devices at a future date. The service will include a card reader which means a merchant can process credit card and ACH (automated clearing house) payments from remote locations and also view transactions while away from their home location.
The company argues that launching an m-payment service fits with its core business of targeting those large corporate customers which need to have payments processed on a remote basis, either on a full-time or part-time basis. It also hopes the new m-payments service will attract small businesses, the anticipated core market for other new entrants offering a similar technology to PDS. These include, most prominently, Square, but also, announced just in the last week, the likes of Erply and iZettle.
PDS argues its new service is distinct from rivals in three ways. Its service is targeted at merchants that use one or more devices but need a common settlement account. It will also allow the entry and processing of ACH payments. The new iRemotePay service is also processor independent which means it can act as a gateway to the merchant’s existing processor who may not be PDS.
The company says its new service is designed for handling payments at one-off events such as concerts as well as for mobile sales staff such as plumbers and electricians or door-to-door salespeople. Louis Hoch (pictured), the president and COO of PDS, described the new service as “a great addition to our mobile-based merchant processing platform”.