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Pin on glass, the end for eftpos terminals?

Martin Gloor, our Country Manager in Australia, just wrote a good blog about pin on glass. Will this change the future of EFTPOS?

Pin On Glass

The idea of Pin on glass is to be able to enter the pin code on a standard smart phone instead of a EFTPOS terminal. Until today, it is only possible to enter the pin on a dedicated, secure and certified hardware: a pin pad. This is, because the pin is one of the most protected pieces of information in payments.

But with the success of the MPOS industry things seem to change. Especially companies like Square Inc. whit it’s magstripe or chip reader are highly interested that pins can be entered on smart phones. This eliminates the pain for them to include pin pads in their solution. Therefore Square, Jack Dorsey, is the driver of this new innovation. And it looks like it is getting momentum. PCI just announced to release a first draft specification in October this year.

A Game Changer?

Though what does this mean for the payments industry? Let’s assume that pins will be entered on smart phones in the future. Why would you need a pin pad any more? This could be a major change to our industry and it is very bad news for terminal manufacturers.

But I can already hear all the cryptographers and security engineers that will say that it is impossible to securely enter a pin on a unsecured, untrusted device; which smart phones are. I actually also think it is impossible, therefore I can’t wait to see what Square and PCI is coming up with.

But think on step further. Maybe it is not pins that will be entered on a mobile phone. Rather, the mobile phone will be able to strongly authenticate the cardholder. Think about fingerprint scanner, face recognition, heart rate measurement with smart watch or fitness wrist band. There are a lot of possibilities that could make it possible to strongly authenticate people through their mobile and wearable devices. In this case no pin needs to be entered and you definitely have no more need for a pin pad. Just look at Apple Pay.

Abrantix as an Innovation-Partner

As a payment innovator we are always checking what’s possible and what’s not. With the above in mind, we ported our full eftpos terminal application onto a Android smart phone. The application includes certified contactless EMV kernels, full on- and offline payment capabilities. It supports currency conversion, loyalty, TIP and restaurant functions. It also supports all global currencies and 23 languages. And the good thing is, it runs smoothly on Android. The down side? It can only accept NFC card payments below 25 euro (in Europe). Above this amount you need to enter a pin, and this is not possible these days. Therefore we can’t wait to see what happens with pin on glass.

The solution could be something for ultra small merchants accepting only payments below the pin limit. Or it could also be possible to accept payments with NFC-Chip and signature. Or, as an enhancement, the smart phone terminal could take a photo of an ID card to identify the customer and link this to the transaction. This is actually nothing new. In a lot of countries you need to identify yourself when you want to pay with a card.

These are just some ideas. Maybe you have a good idea too? We have received a lot of interest from acquires who want to address new businesses (Small Merchants) or who want to adopt innovative technology (Innovation).

Here is the video about our EFTPOS Terminal on a Android smart phone: https://youtu.be/R7-7X1QxM8Y

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