Entries tagged with “ProPay JAK”.


Mobile technology seems to be in the news quite a bit today.  Instagram, a social photosharing, site was  acquired by Facebook.  AisleBuyer, a line-busting mobile commerce application, was acquired by Intuit.  Best Buy is looking at mobile strategies to combat the phenomenon of “showrooming,” in which consumers come to the retail store to look at the product, then make the purchase from Amazon, or eBay or another eCommerce site.  Mobile commerce, mobile payments, mobile social.  It seems that mobile is everywhere.  What does that mean for merchants?  What should merchants be looking for in the mobile revolution?

Something that often gets overlooked with the introduction of a new technology is that of strategy.  Merchants often rush to the new technology that promises convenience, increased conversion, and cool factor.  But the question that we should be asking is, “Why?”  Does mobile even make sense for me?  Consider a traditional, independent bookstore.  They have a storefront and inventory.  They get foot-traffic and have a traditional Point of Sale (POS) system that is integrated into their inventory management system.  What would a mobile acceptance channel add to them?  On the other side of that coin, consider a crafter or a locksmith.  Often, these professionals operate in the field – at craft fairs or in parking lots.  They have traditionally accepted cash or checks.  Recently they’ve begun to use either a “knucklebuster” or an IVR system to accept payment from debit or credit cards.  For them, mobile payment acceptance makes sense – they can increase their conversion rate (and sometimes their average ticket size), cut back on “bad” transactions with real-time authorization, and add convenience for themselves and their clients.

Another factor that must be considered is security.  Just because a payment is mobile, that doesn’t mean that security goes by the wayside.  In fact, some (including myself) may argue that security becomes more important.  Encrypted card readers are just one layer, albeit a very important layer, of protection for the payment process.  Choosing a service provider with a demonstrated history of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is another important step in protecting mobile payments.

Mobile payments are an exciting innovation in the payments world.  They offer significant advantage, but as with any tool, they must be managed appropriately in order to recognize the maximum benefit.

Dr. Heather Mark, PhD.  SVP, Market Strategy

Industry pundits have been anxiously declaring the “Year of NFC” for the past several years. Near Field Communication (NFC) was supposed to revolutionize the way customers interact with the point of sale. Various beneficial consequences of NFC adoption have been touted - everything from security to efficiency and just about everything in between.  Large companies have put a tremendous amount of resource behind igniting NFC platforms.  So much emphasis was placed on the likely success of NFC that three wireless giants formed a joint venture, ISIS, dedicated to the prospect.  However, NFC has failed so far to take off as has been expected.  In fact, at least one company recently jettisoned its NFC plans after tests revealed that “NFC is actually a step backward” in the Point of Sale (POS) experience. While plans remain to work with NFC technology in some capacity, the company has stated that it doesn’t fit with its POS strategy.  So what does this mean for NFC?

First, it should be noted that a number of companies remain devoted to the notion that NFC will enjoy mainstream adoption in one capacity or another in the near future.  The card brands and other companies are still experimenting with NFC technology in a variety of capacities.  That means that we’re going to continue hearing about the Year of NFC for some time yet.

Secondly, it should also be noted that the emphasis in payments now, particularly with mobile technology, is moving away from the traditional POS.  Mobile technologies should allow merchants greater freedoms.  NFC, by nature, requires customers to go to the checkout counter in order to make a purchase, so while it’s a mobile technology in that it’s deployed on a SmartPhone, it is not mobile in allowing merchants to accept payments in a mobile fashion.  Nor does it free customers from having to stand in line at a terminal in order to make a payment.

When examining mobile solutions, merchants are well-served to ask some questions of themselves before selecting a vendor.  First, merchants should have a sound understanding of what their mobile strategy is.  If the merchant has a high-volume, low-price business, like a convenience stores, then NFC may be a good option. However, many small merchants are looking for mobile solutions that will free them from the check-out counter.  So, if a merchant is looking for a truly mobile solution, what are the options?

Text – Simple Message System (SMS) is a system for sending short text messages between mobile devices.  Text or SMS payment solutions are growing increasingly popular in the realm of digital sales and Peer to Peer (P2P) payments.  In this model, a payment authorization is transmitted via text message and the amount of the payment is charged to the user’s mobile phone bill.  This method proves effective in high-volume, low ticket sales, such as P2P or digital goods.  However, there are still some points of concern for merchants, not the least of which is “When does the merchant get paid?”  Customers, too, may have questions.  When using a payment card, there are fraud and theft protections.  If the card is stolen or used for a fraudulent transaction, the customer is not held liable.  Similar regimes do not necessarily exist in this model.

Portable Card Swipe Device –  The most prevelant form of mobile payments to date, is not surprisingly, the portable card swipe device (See ProPay’s JAK).  The reason this is so prevalant is because it offers mobility without requiring a significant change in behavior from either the merchant or the consumer.  The action of paying is almost exactly the same as it would be “in store.”  The caveat to this type of solution is that merchants should ensure that the product they are using is what is called an “encrypted swipe” device.  Using and encrypted swipe device ensures that the payment data is protected before it even gets to the phone – it is encrypted by the magnetic head that reads the card data.  If the merchant loses the phone, or if a “hacker” breaches the payment application on the phone, no card data would be available to them.

Application Based -The application based mobile payment has not been as prevalent in the mobile payment movement as the previously discussed methods.  With the rapid adoption of Smartphone technology, though, these types of solutions are likely to become more prevalent.  In this model, a consumer downloads an application to their Smartphone and configures his or her user profile and payment methods.  The consumer and the merchant can then interact through that application.  Merchants and consumers should do due diligence to ensure that security has been built into the application, but these types of applications are on the rise.  (See ProPay Link)

NFC will not be abandoned in its entirety, but neither will it be the paradigm shifting payment technology that had been envisioned. At the end of the day, there are applications for each of the mobile technologies discussed here.  The challenge for merchants is to find the one that best fits their overall business strategy and offers robust security for their customers.

Dr. Heather Mark, PhD; SVP of Market Strategy

You can jump for joy!  The day has come where you can finally retire that clunky, awkward and outdated “knucklebuster”.

I know, I know, some of you may have become attached to that long time companion.  Perhaps you even convinced yourself that it was a boast worthy talent that you could swipe that bar across, while holding the carbon paper in place.  Maybe you even counted the repetitious nature of sliding it as your daily muscle building workout.

But I can promise you that you will come to love the new mobile processing devices more.  Not only does it keep your customers information secure, it makes you look much more professional, and it saves you money. Who doesn’t want that.

With the growing dominance of Smartphones and Tablets in the marketplace, ProPay wanted to make sure you could always have a way to be connected and process transactions.  So let me introduce the ProPay JAK.

With the ProPay JAK you can:

  • Take advantage of available lower “swipe” rates on your Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card transactions.
  • Process credit and debit cards in real time wherever you have data coverage.
  • Store the card data securely (encrypted) for later processing if you don’t have data coverage.
  • Put the card data securely “On File” with ProPay’s ProtectPay® for future processing.
  • Capture the customer’s signature at the point of sale.
  • Send an email receipt to the cardholder.
  • View your account information.

The JAK fits securely into the audio jack port of your supported Apple or Android device.  You can then simply log into your ProPay account through an app, and process cards.  There is no need to write down sensitive credit card information since the device securely encrypts that information so it can’t be compromised.

Isn’t that a great relief?  No more carbon copy receipts lying around just asking to be read or stolen from your former knucklebuster days.  You also can get a lower rate and your customers will love signing for the transaction on your Smartphone or Tablet.

The ProPay JAK is just one way to process cards while mobile.  Check out our website for other cool devices and account features like the ProPay FLASH, ProPay LINK, Touch-tone phone processing, mobile internet, etc.  And for information on pricing, compatibility & requirements for the ProPay JAK, click here.

With the summer convention season in the rear view mirror the ProPay team is now back to the office and settled back into a more normal routine.  From July through August we lived out of our suitcases, padded our frequent flyer accounts and put on a few pounds eating out 3 meals a day. 

 This year’s convention season was particularly exciting because we were able to show off our new JAK reader (secure swipe device for iPhone and Android) to our customers.  The new reader was so popular we had a hard time keeping up with demand.  Our customers seemed to like them for one, or a combination of, the following 4 reasons:

 1: Real time authorization (knowing the card is good at the point of sale)

2: The convenience of not having to enter cards when they got home after working a party or show

3: Lower processing rates

4: The fact that the JAK is secure and never passes card holder data through their phone

In addition to the launch of JAK we had a limited launch of ProPay Link, our new social mobile payment application (for iPhone and Android users).   This new products allows merchants to advertise specials and customers to securely control their sensitive payment information – yet still complete payment.  I think we’ll hear a lot more about ProPay Link in the months to come.

With or without new products, the convention season is a great opportunity to be with our customers.  This year was no exception; we had the chance to personally visit with tens of thousands of individual ProPay account holders at conventions held from Toronto, Canada to Southern California and many cities in-between.   Conventions make “personal” the very reason why we strive to provide simple, safe and affordable payment options… It’s all about our customers!

Darrel Welling | EVP Client Relations

ProPay is constantly moving forward to help the aspiring merchant and growing business they have created.  Part of the ease associated with using ProPay’s services is the variety of simple ways to securely take and process payment card information.  The ProPay JAK™ is a new, secure and viable option for any ProPay merchant to use. The ProPay JAK allows merchants to securely swipe a customer’s card and directly process through their smart phone.   This small, secure, sturdy and convenient device has helped many merchants improve their business perception and revenue.  By allowing the customer to swipe their card for payment, a merchant can know immediately whether or not a payment was approved.  To receive a step by step tutorial on how to use the ProPay JAK with your ProPay account, please visit the link below:

 JAK Tutorial

                The ProPay JAK is a fabulous way to enhance your business opportunity and improve your business image.  When taking payment card information it is important to have a clear understanding about how to do so securely and effectively.  The ProPay JAK can do that and more.  For more information regarding the ProPay JAK and how it can help your business, visit the sites below:

JAK Main Site

JAK FAQ’s