Bank of the Philippine Islands launched on Friday a system that would allow business owners to use their smartphones or tablet computers to accept credit payments.
The move will allow BPI to expand into previously untapped markets, initially focusing on mobile entrepreneurs such as food stall owners, BPI senior vice president for card banking Ginbee Go told reporters.
“What we are trying to do is to make payments more convenient. Sometimes customers don’t have enough cash so merchants lose a potential sale. By converting mobile phones into a point of sale, merchants (will be able to accommodate the credit purchase and realize that additional sale),” Go said.
Businesses, according to Go, typically receive a sales boost of 20 percent to 25 percent when credit card payments are allowed.
Merchants will be charged a so-called merchant’s cost of between 2 percent to 3.5 percent per transaction, depending on the type of business, she said.
Go said the system was still in pilot phase, which should initially involve 500 devices, with stall owners in Cucina Andare by Mercate Centrale outside the Glorietta shopping mall.
She added that the idea was to bring the system nationwide while catering to a variety of businesses, although she declined to elaborate.
The system works with clients downloading the mobile point-of-sale app and then attaching a specially designed dongle onto the device. The phone will need access to Wi-Fi or its own data connection.
Transactions will be paperless and receipts are sent to customers via e-mail, she said.
“It does not require the business to maintain a minimum volume of transactions so they can keep using the service once they sign up,” Go said.
The system will work with iOS devices and select Android devices.—Miguel R. Camus