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Worldpay lets merchants accept payments on smartphone

Payments processor Worldpay has launched a pilot scheme, which enables microbusinesses to accept payments from costumers with an app instead of needing a card terminal. What is said to be an industry first could really help small businesses with accepting card payments easily.

Instead of having to buy and operate some hardware, small traders now will be able to simply download an app. They can then use their mobile phone to take payments from customers. “Nobody has done this before”, Nick Telford-Reed, director of technology innovation at Worldpay, said to The Times.

The payment processing industry is highly lucrative but was monopolized for years by the established banks. There have been some interesting startups that gained market share, but players such as Square and iZettle require a special terminal to let businesses accept card payments using their phone.

Accept payments up to 30 pounds

With Worldpay, clients only have to download a free app. Downside is that it will only be able to accept payments up to 30 pounds (about 34 euros). This isn’t Worldpay’s decision, it’s the spending limit on contact card transactions, decided by the UK Cards Association.

Worldpay thinks this new way of accepting payments, could be a welcome feature for sellers of low-priced item such as coffee carts, barbers, festival vendors, pop-up stores and market traders.

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