WorldPay, the ex-RBS owned UK merchant acquirer and payment processor, has unveiled a new Zinc mobile point-of-sale (MPoS) launch, with Chip and PIN capability. Aimed at UK small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sole traders that want to accept card payments on Apple iOS powered or Google Android-powered tablets or smartphones the Zinc app pay-as-you-go model means there will be no monthly fee or long-term contract, but a terminal will have to be brought for £59.99 to handle personal identity numbers (PINs). The 2.75% per card payment transaction cost could also add up for large volume users, although there are unlikely to be many of these and it is competitive.
WorldPay Zinc is quick and easy to set-up, says the acquirer, which points out that micro-merchants and sole traders can simply apply online, or download the WorldPay Zinc app on their smartphone or tablet and apply via that route. The black Chip and PIN keypad can either be purchased online or in-store at John Lewis shops across the UK and small businesses should be able to receive payments and review payment details the next business day after applying, although it will take four days for settlement.
Mobile workers that typically do not accept card payments, such as electricians, window cleaners, beauty therapists or market stallholders are all being targeted with the new launch, as Worldpay says they are missing out on business by not having access or refusing to pay highly interchange fees.
The acquirer has sponsored an online study of 5,176 UK adult consumers by Loudhouse during April, which purports to show that over half of consumers (54%) find it inconvenient when small businesses don’t accept card payments, rising to 66% amongst 18-34 year olds. One in five consumers also said they’d abandoned purchases when they couldn’t pay by card and 72% said they had a negative impression of those who didn’t take cards. Customers associate businesses that don’t accept card payments as having poor customer service (28%) and a small minority supposedly see them as unprofessional (19%) or struggling (18%), claims the survey.
SME Triallists Prove Technology & Voice Happiness
More than 3,000 small businesses have been involved in a six-month trial prior to the official unveiling today of Worldpay Zinc, with the acquirer saying they’ve had positive feedback, citing Alistair Grant, an Edinburgh-based mobile locksmith and sole-trader, who said: “Being able to accept card payment easily and efficiently while at the customer’s house, means I can generate more business, and spend less time banking, without incurring huge transaction costs.” He added: “My biggest concern in the current economic climate is not only surviving, but growing, so I’m always looking for a competitive advantage.”
According to John Blundell, a Coventry-based mobile mechanic, who works with his son and was another person involved in the trials: “We think the service is a brilliant option for small business. We cannot imagine there will be a time when we do not accept cash. However, we will now be able to stop accepting cheques by offering card acceptance as an alternative.”
WorldPay Zinc is built upon the acquirer’s existing card processing network, which according to the Nilson Report last year was the biggest in the UK by value and volume. Small businesses that sign up will also be able to take payments over the phone, by text or email, if they so choose, and accept refunds or print receipts. At the tap of a button on their smartphone WorldPay Zinc customers in the UK will also get real-time access to full payment history data, covering the day, week or month.
According to Geraldine Wilson, managing director of WorldPay Zinc, the new service will make life easier for the UK’s mobile tradespeople, small businesses and the UK consumer. “We have been testing out the service for six months with over 3,000 small businesses, and the feedback has been positive,” she says. “These businesses are reporting increased revenues with significantly higher average transaction values for each sale: on top of this, we’re also hearing that these tradespeople are spending less time chasing customers for payment and trekking to the bank to pay in cash takings. They’re also enjoying being able to portray a more professional image and provide better service to their customers.”
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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