Visa, Samsung and Fiserv in contactless payments tie-up

New point of sale (PoS) technology has been unveiled that aims to support smaller merchants’ ability to accept contactless payments.

The Software Point of Sale (SoftPOS) solution, showcased at technology show IFA 2019 in Berlin, enables contactless payments of any amount via a smartphone or tablet, in the same way a traditional payment terminal functions but with no additional equipment.

It is the result of a collaboration between Visa, Samsung Electonics, and First Data, which is now part of payments provider Fiserv.

Merchants deploying SoftPOS will be able to accept contactless payments on their mobile device using embedded near-field communication (NFC) functionality. Their phone will be able to facilitate transactions from existing contactless cards, other NFC-enabled mobile phones, or NFC-enabled devices like wearables and key fobs.

Although not on the market yet, a SoftPOS pilot is set to take place in Poland by the end of 2019. The plan is for the pilot programme to then expand in the EMEA and APAC regions.

Visa provides the contactless capability, Fiserv facilitates the banking process via a mobile app, and Samsung offers the hardware and software security, as well as providing multiple mobile devices for merchants to deploy as part of the partnership.

Katarzyna Zubrzycka, head of merchant sales and acquirer for central eastern Europe at Visa, said: “This project could only launch in a country where contactless payments are highly popular, and Poland is among the global leaders in this method of payment.

“Thanks to SoftPOS, a greater number of domestic points of sale will be able to accept contactless payments, providing consumers with quick, convenient, and secure contactless payments with a card, smartphone, or watch.”

She added: “With this technology we are able to rapidly expand access of card and digital payments across Poland, even for the micro business owner who is still in many places accepting only cash today.”

IFA 2019 continues at Messe Berlin Exhibition Grounds until Wednesday 11 September, presenting the latest products and innovations in technology and consumer electronics from around the globe.

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