In the US, Square is making it possible for just about anyone with a tablet or smartphone to process transactions.
In Australia, Commonwealth Bank is stepping up with Albert: a mobile payments terminal designed to work with Google’s Android operating system.
The device features a 7” touchscreen, a PIN keypad, a paper printer, and Eftpos-like functionality, according to Delimiter.
A hardware system called Leo attaches the technology to an iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S to give anyone with these devices the capability of processing a transaction – a big win for small retailers and cafes looking to rid their counters of bulky registers and monotonous card readers.
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Pi, the software platform that will run on the Albert, and AppBank, the application system, will allow merchants to develop customer service applications and easily distribute them.
“Pi, together with Albert, will empower businesses to go beyond a simple transaction by using consumer-friendly applications and a human-centric interface to enrich the customer experience,” said Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Executive General Manager of Corporate Banking Solutions, Commonwealth Bank.
“From offering an easier way of splitting the bill, activating a loyalty program, using information on customer preferences, to offering a more personalised experience or checking stock – with Pi, the opportunities are limitless.”
The Australian market is an open target: Square, which is used by more than two million businesses and individuals across the US, has not been released Down Under, giving Commonwealth Bank full access to their home population.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our business partners and welcoming new developers on board as we work towards general availability and rollout of Albert in 2013,” said Ms Rosmarin.