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The news that Mobeewave was acquired by Apple a few weeks back has sent ripples through the fintech community on both sides of the Atlantic. For those of you unfamiliar with the news, first reported by Bloomberg, Apple acquired the Montreal start-up Mobeewave for an estimated $100m.
Mobeewave is one of a small number of companies globally, like phos, who have been able to develop technology which enables smartphones to become mobile payment terminals – technology which is variously called Software Point of Sale, Software POS or SoftPOS. Like phos, this software allows NFC-enabled devices to take card or eWallet payments with no additional hardware required.
In one acquisition, Apple have rubber stamped SoftPOS technology as the future of POS and accelerated many projects around the world from PowerPoint presentation to project planning.
A side effect of this acquisition is that many of the ongoing Mobeewave projects have been terminated leaving many businesses searching for an alternative solution to take their concepts to commercial launch.
Phos is an ideal alternative in this scenario, in fact, perhaps even a superior one.
Firstly, the phos solution is more “device agnostic” than the Mobeewave technology. There is not the same reliance on specific hardware within the devices – meaning the phos solution can be enabled on any Android device running 8.0 or above. This would mean that any NFC-enabled Android mobile phone or laptop can be turned into a Point of Sale device without the need for any additional devices like mobile card readers or specific hardware within certain top of the range devices.
Secondly, there is time to implementation. Apple’s transaction may have been concluded, but currently all of the Mobeewave team are still located in Montreal. Apple has a track record of slowly implementing technology from its acquisitions into its iOS platform. It may well be some time before we see Mobeewave’s technology natively used within Apple’s iPhones. In the meantime, Phos’ SoftPOS is live, on the Google Play Store, and ready to be downloaded and used right now. We’re live in 12 markets across Europe including Germany, UK, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. We also have relationships with established banks and financial services businesses in partnership with the card schemes. We’re ready to be deployed at scale by any business looking for an alternative to Mobeewave.
Moreover, for those looking for immediate speed to settlement, phos has a solution for you. Our sister company Paynetics is able to issue a card to users of the phos SoftwarePOS app, meaning that we can settle transactions same day, and merchants can use funds from sales almost immediately. This is an industry-leading development, and is again live and in the field right now.
Thirdly, to date Apple has been slow at opening up its NFC chip to third parties, to the extent that last year a parliamentary committee in Germany passed anti-money laundering legislation that would force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers, according to Reuters. To date phos has been able to work with Android only, but the acquisition by Apple, the updates made to iOS 13 which allowed more access by third parties to NFC stickers and tags, and the growing threat of anti-“Big Tech” legislation in both the US and EU could mean that Apple will be forced to make its NFC chip more accessible to third parties. Which will be good news for phos and other SoftPOS providers.
Fourthly, there is the risk that comes with collaborating with “Big Tech”. You only have to look as far as the publishing, advertising or media industries to see how Big Tech monoliths like Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook have disintermediated businesses in the ecosystem, and destroyed existing revenue streams. The mobile payments sector is another industry which is large enough for Big Tech to be interested in, as it is forecast to be worth $3.4 trillion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 33.4 percent, according to research by Allied Market Research.
So, for any bank, PSP, acquirer, handset or phone software manufacturer looking for an alternative to Mobeewave as a result of this acquisition, phos has the technology, the technical expertise and the team to implement an alternative SoftPOS solution for you right now.
Please get in touch with me or a member of my team to arrange a demo today.