German firm Wirecard launched a mobile checkout development platform targeted at European retailers.
The platform enables retailers to make their own app more attractive to end-users by integrating open- and closed-loop contactless payments, P2P gifting, offers and merchant loyalty.
Closed-loop payment apps only enable transactions in the outlets of the retailer which launched the app. An example is Starbucks’ popular payment app. An open-loop payment app works across any number of retailers. Visa or MasterCard are examples of open loop payments.
“Annually hundreds of millions of payments are conducted with retailer-specific payment instruments – ranging from gift cards to smartphone applications developed by retailers,” says Dr. Markus Braun, CEO of Wirecard.
“Our new retail payments platform enables retailers to increase the appeal of their smartphone applications by leveraging Wirecard’s extensive range of payment, couponing and loyalty functionalities,” he added.
Wirecard says its platform can enable payments based on QR-code as well as NFC technology using Host Card Emulation (HCE), and Secure Elements on mobile phones and SIM cards.
Payment transactions can be handled by a retailer’s own closed-loop payment system or by using open-loop networks such as Visa or MasterCard.
European retailers who want to launch a retail payment service accepted by more than a single retailer could issue a payment instrument through Wirecard Bank, a licensed financial institution, in what appears to hint at a European version of MCX in the US.
Currently several leading unnamed European retailers are piloting closed-loop payment services built on Wirecard’s mobile retail checkout development platform, with commercial launches expected in the second half of 2015, the firm said.