South African mobile payments company Thumbzup has taken compact card reader innovation to the next level, developing the world’s most advanced, compact, chip-and-PIN capable, Bluetooth card reader. It is compatible with a wide range of devices and can support various retail environments in both the attended and unattended spaces. “Thumbzup was the first company in the world to launch the smallest chip-and-PIN, magstripe and contactless capable card reader, which plugged into a compatible phone or tablet via the audio jack 10 years ago,” says Saul Gorin, CEO of Thumbzup. “We are now launching the 3 rd generation reader, taking advantage of technology improvements such as Bluetooth Low Energy, improved processing, and battery capacity. We added these enhanced features without compromising on the form factor, and it remains the most compact and versatile card reader in the market. It is also manufactured locally, accepts chip-and-PIN, magstripe, contactless and wearable card transactions.” Chip-and-PIN cards were developed to reduce card number theft and skimming crimes. The technology has been a significant step forward in fraud prevention, reducing card fraud by 70% over 5 years. With the addition of contactless “tap” payment, settling a card transaction has become a safe, easy, convenient, and time-efficient way for customers to pay.
Thumbzup has successfully rolled out its payment solution across several enterprise retail customers in various industry segments, including clothing, insurance, homeware, general grocers, hospitality, and home improvement. The Payment Pebble Air is ideal for unattended use in self-service environments, including self-service kiosks, vending machines, and parking.
“Customers recognise that cashless and contactless payments are a faster and safer way to pay,” says Gorin. “It is more hygienic, queueing time is reduced, and the shopping experience is improved. Many retailers are implementing semi-attended checkout or ordering capabilities to support the upliftment of staff roles as opposed to job losses. We see a 19% increase in average basket size when customers place their own orders or make their own payments.” For attended payments, where the sales assistant activates the transaction, the Payment Pebble Air is a sought-after solution for enterprise merchants looking for a card reader that integrates easily with tablets or other Android and iOS devices. Thumbzup also offers a retail-hardened ‘open Android’ handset, the Payment Blade. This device is a companion to the Payment Pebble Air and includes a retail-grade scanner, long-life swappable battery, and SIM or Wi-Fi capability. Thumbzup helps customers to integrate the Payment Blade with existing retail POS systems, making enterprises more mobile, agile, and future-proofed. The Payment Pebble Air is easily paired with Android and iOS devices, turning a consumer device into a payment terminal. It is PCI PTS certified and PCI SPoC ready.