Powa Technologies, the UK rival to Square, the system that enables credit card payments with a smartphone, has signed its first major deal with First National Bank, one of South Africa’s biggest banks.
First National, the retail and corporate division of First Rand, one of the country’s big four banks, will use mPowa, the company’s card reader and software, to replace its existing payment infrastructure for an annual fee.
London-based Powa manufactures a smartphone app and a small chip and PIN reader that connects to the handset via Bluetooth. The technology is targeted at field workers, travelling salesmen, shop floor staff and other mobile staff so that they can take credit card payments more easily and securely.
Powa’s chief executive officer (CEO), Dan Wagner, said the deal heralded the company’s rapid expansion into global markets. It would be the first of several planned tie-ups with banks in the next few months and validates his aim to make mPowa a white label offering, helping financial services firms to make the step to smartphone payments more easily.
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