Samsung & Visa partner with Fiserv to scale up mobile POS
(10 September 2019 - Europe) Fiserv has partnered with Samsung and Visa to lure merchants with a software-based contactless point-of-sale (POS) payment solution for smartphones called ‘SoftPOS’.
The move comes in the wake of significant payment processor merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in H1 2019 designed to improve incumbent major’s defence against competitive new entrants, in particular Fiserv’s $22B Merger with First Data.
SoftPOS enables contactless payments of any value via a smartphone or tablet, in the same way a traditional payment terminal functions but with no additional equipment. The SoftPOS pilot program will commence in Poland in Q4 2019l expand thereafter initially in the EMEA and APAC regions. The consortium is counting on the fact that enough merchants have smartphones or tablets with near field communication (NFC) technology to encourage them to shift away from plug-in ‘dongle’ card readers or other attachments that connect to phones via the headphone jack or Bluetooth.
First Data had been adding merchant technology KKR's private equity ownership from 2007 until the group’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2015, incrementally adding merchant technology to its Clover point of sale system. This kept it competitive with disruptors like Square and Stripe which have also been diversifying to keep rivals at bay. Square recently announced a new set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits for developers to build functions that can be customised to sell activities beyond payments. The functionality is designed to broaden Square's appeal to institutional sized merchants, creating a greater competitive threat to incumbent providers such as Fiserv. Stripe has added tools for dispute resolution and identity risk to improve its pitch to merchants.
“We are embracing a new era in payments – the mobility era. As contactless payments grow in popularity it is important that merchants can enable these payments on mobile devices. SoftPOS, has been designed to meet the current and future needs of consumers and entrepreneurs and will change the way people make daily payments, facilitating the convenient, quick, and secure processing of contactless transactions” stated Fiserv Executive VP and Head of EMEA, John Gibbons.
“This project could only launch in a country where contactless payments are highly popular, and Poland is among 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. 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” quoted Visa Head of Merchant Sales & Acquirer, Central Eastern Europe, Katarzyna Zubrzycka.
“With SoftPOS, we address our vision to become an innovator of new mobile experience, through advanced technology and products. Today we enable access to a new solution that makes entrepreneurs’ life much easier and more convenient. Thanks to defence-grade Samsung Knox Security Platform, Customers can be sure that their payments will be safe” said Samsung Electronics VP, Global Mobile B2B Team, Head of EU/CIS, North/Latin America, Global Channel Sales, HS Myung.