le-temps

After SIX Payment Services and UBS, Be Cash launches a mobile payment terminal offer. This alternative to conventional terminals is available to everyone except cash.

Less expensive, adapted to a smaller volume of transactions than traditional payment terminals (TPE), mobile terminals (mPOS), or mini-terminals, proliferate in Switzerland. The success of this new generation of credit card payment terminals is inseparable from that of smartphones and tablets, they turn into cash registers. They change the daily lives of many professionals: small traders, craftsmen, liberal professions, foundations, associations, lawyers, pizza deliverers, taxis, SMEs.

Common to all these professions: they do not collect enough transactions per day for the purchase or rental of a TPE is profitable. With a mPOS, they benefit from a mobile terminal, it is coupled with their phone (Bluetooth), so no additional subscription in this case, or not. As for the purchase price, it is counted in hundreds of francs, without contractual commitment. That’s almost ten times less than a TPE, which usually binds the merchant for several years. Which one may prefer renting, ie 60 to 100 francs a month, if he does not have enough visibility on the durability of his activity. In which case he will have paid between 5,000 and 10,000 francs in total. A solution that companies that start their business, some 12,000 in Switzerland a year, can not afford. And all the more so as the latter, like small traders and independents, charge little. The transaction rate, finally, is comparable to those commonly practiced in the industry: 2.5% for payments by credit card, 1.5% for those with a debit card.

The benefits of this new equipment for merchants translate into customer retention opportunities. The customer is not left behind, who can pay from the first franc card, in conditions of safety and comfort – a ticket payment – perfectly equal to those of a conventional terminal.

The introduction of mPOS in Switzerland is a revolution comparable to that of Uber taxis“, says Malik Khalfi, co-founder of the Vaud start-up Be Cash, which has just launched the myPOS terminal. The leader intends to “shake up the oligopoly in a country where we are light years away from the major changes that are transforming the payment industry“.

A goal not easy if you consider the difficulties that must overcome any new entrant in this sector. Which are mainly related to the security of the transactions as well as their good and fast execution. Secure payments to win and retain consumer confidence first. Also to avoid frauds that penalize the merchant – he assumes the burden of reimbursement and is frowned upon by issuers of cards, Visa, MasterCard, etc. Finally, it will be necessary to convince an approved financial institution (an acquirer) to perform the processing of transactions, that is to say their transmission to the bank of the account of the buyer (issuer) and collect funds corresponding. It’s no surprise then that SIX Payment Services, which can count on its platform, was among the first to launch mPOS offers: mCashier. UBS did the same with its partner Sum Up and buyer Aduno. Be Cash was able to launch its offer through a partnership with a buyer based in Luxembourg.

With this increased competition, the entire payment landscape – CHF 5 billion per year – which is likely to change in Switzerland, “where more than 50% of payments are made in cash, while the Scandinavian countries have close to 90% of card payments“, says SIX Group spokesperson Jürg Schneider, who hails the acceleration of the spread of card payment methods. Other countries, such as Italy, are actively promoting the adoption of mPOSs to promote tax transparency. If it is too early to draw up a balance sheet, “the first results are positive“, notes the head of SIX, without giving precise figures.

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