Earlier this year, I commented during the launch of UOB’s mobile banking iOS application that mobile payment options such as that offered by Square would be a boon to small business owners. It seems that the wish has somewhat been granted, with last week’s launch of Swiff (www.swiffpay.com), a new mobile payment platform that allows cashless credit card payments using mobile phones and mobile tablet devices as credit card or debit card terminals.
Developed by SCCP Payment Services, Swiff comes as a plug-in dongle device that attaches itself to most mobile phones and tablets – it is available on iOS, Android and Blackberry, and coming soon on Windows Phone devices – such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab (pictured right). This payment solution was beta-tested by merchants such as Russian-themed restaurant and caviar bar Buyan in Singapore since June last year, and is now launched worldwide, with the company targeting Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America as key target markets.
Mobile Payment Now A Reality For Singapore Small Business Owners
“Mobile payments in Asia Pacific are projected to rise to US$267.8 billion by 2016, backed by the rapid acceptance of mobile banking services across the region,” says Jerome Cle, co-founder and CEO of SCCP Payment Services. “There is a high demand in the market for mobile payment solutions which seamlessly plug into any existing ecosystem of banks, merchants and customers. Today, Swiff is unique in its ability to do so.”
A key feature touted by the makers of Swiff is data security. Swiffinstantly encrypts and transmits card data securely to the participating bank when the card is swiped – no data is actually stored within the smartphone or tablet, ensuring customer information is kept safe. “Swiff embeds a Multi-Factor Authentication in the payment application using bank-level security. This provides merchants with a greater confidence to prevent misuse and decrease charge-backs,” Cle explains, adding that payment authentication is done at four levels – the consumer, the consumer’s device, the merchant and the merchant’s device.
The company has partnered global payment provider MasterCard to introduce the service worldwide. “Swiff is an easy-to-use and secure platform which brings us one step closer to a world beyond cash, something that we at MasterCard are working towards,” said Julienne Loh, vice-president and country manager, for MasterCard Worldwide in Singapore. “We see Swiff playing a significant role not only in increasing small businesses’ accessibility to cashless payments, but also helping them reduce costs and improve efficiency.”
“Beyond the benefits to businesses, consumers stand to enjoy even more seamless customer experiences with Swiff, as merchants now have an additional platform to enhance and be creative with the way they interact with their customers,” Loh adds.