For several years, MagicCube Inc. has worked to prove that merchants can safely and speedily accept card payments with no hardware other than an off-the-shelf mobile device. Now the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has added a new wrinkle to its strategy: agreements with device vendors that make MagicCube’s iAccept the only such technology those companies will use in North America.
MagicCube announced on Saturday that France-based MobiWire Group will integrate iAccept exclusively in the mobile devices it makes for the North American market. Four days earlier, MagicCube and the Belgian device maker Oona announced a similar agreement. Oona is a unit of Finland-based Aava Mobile Oy.
In related news, MagicCube said early Monday it has joined the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council as a principal participating organization. PCI develops and sets rules governing how card transactions should be processed to avoid fraud. Companies that join as principal participating organizations are said to have a role in technical discussions as well as strategic planning at the group.
Commenting on the recent deals, MagicCube founder and chief executive Sam Shawki tells Digital Transactions News the exclusivity proviso will help control matters such as performance and security. “We are forming an ecosystem around our product, including Android phone and tablets device makers that will work exclusively with [us],” he says in an email message. “We have worked with them to make sure that their off-the-shelf devices are well-suited for softpos than most. We also worked with these partners to test the combined solution for performance, security, and usability.”
“Softpos” is a reference to technology that allows commercial devices such as smart phones to process card transactions, including those requiring a PIN, with no attachments or other hardware. Apple Inc.’s Tap to Pay on iPhone, launched last year, is another example of the technology. MagicCube’s offering works with devices running on the Android operating system.
MagicCube, which has long harbored an ambition to do away with dedicated point-of-sale equipment altogether, says its deals with Oona and MobiWire Group recognize the need of large merchants, particularly chains, to rely on POS technology for the time being. “For those large retailers and enterprises who need to own devices for consistency of performance and device management, we are offering multi-purpose devices,” via the new agreements, Shawki says in a statement.