Banca Sella group is an Italian company offering a wide range of banking and financial products and services. With a strong network in Italy, it has always been vigorously committed to innovation. The growing prevalence of mobile devices and the burgeoning interest in remote and proximity payments led to the launch in 2012 of Up Mobile. This innovative payment system is based on HI Credits, the platform developed by Pay Reply to exploit the available smartphone technology to deliver personalised and context-sensitive payment services. This approach has enabled Banca Sella to keep extending its offering in this market segment over the last two years.
The latest scenario developed by Pay Reply that Banca Sella has chosen to extend its mobile-payments services by taking forward the experimental innovations begun with Up Mobile, is mobile POS. This acquiring solution exploits synergies between a smartphone or tablet and a PIN pad – a simple device that can read traditional payment cards.
Through a straightforward, intuitive user experience, merchants can use a single mobile app to accept payments not only via chip & pin, chip & signature, magstripe and contactless cards but also from tech-savvy customers with their own mobile wallet. Indeed, mobile POS supplements the existing service from Banca Sella whereby the merchant uses an app to generate a QR Code, which the customer then captures with Up Mobile to complete the payment.
This development has two aims. First, to provide a solution to encourage migration from traditional payment methods (using payment cards on classic POS terminals) to an advanced method in which the payment is dematerialised. Second, to exploit the solution’s huge market potential, not least because shops and professionals are legally required from June 2014 to accept electronic payments, thus broadening the range of merchant categories that can benefit significantly from a mobile solution.
One of the solution’s strengths is its open architecture, so the mobile app is hardware-independent and compatible with the devices made by the main manufacturers. One such, Pax-Italia, is the first partner to work with Reply to integrate its hardware. The vital oil in the machine is the Connection Layer, a software component that makes the mobile-app interface independent of the communication protocols used by the various terminals. Banca Sella is adopting the solution and has quickly launched a large-scale trial involving around 100 merchants. Produced in four months with Pax’s contribution, the solution has gained the necessary certifications for it to be marketed.