US firm Tapbase has added contactless payments based on Bluetooth to its existing platform, in a pitch to handle transactions between a merchant’s iPad and a consumer carrying an iPhone.
The aim is to capitalise on the absence of NFC from the Apple devices, unlike many Android ones. The only alternative for Apple devices currently, said Tapbase, is a hardware add-on.
The firm says its solution uses the standard Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radios available in Apple’s latest devices. “For security, transactions are performed only when the devices are within inches of each other, and only when the transaction has been actively authorised by the smartphone user”, it said.
The battery life is not unduly drained because the Bluetooth radios are only active for a short time, said the company.
The company already offers its Tappay app (for merchants with an optional card reader) and Tapwallet (for users).
Android versions of the apps, as well as further additions to its platform, are planned for Q3, 2013. Additions will include the ability for merchants to issue their own virtual prepaid and gift cards based on QR codes, NFC and BLE technology.