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iOS compatible 'Chip and PIN' card reader goes on sale at European Apple stores

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Merchants looking to collect credit card payments on the go have a new option from Payleven, which has launched its "Chip and PIN" card reader at Apple's retail and online stores in Europe.

Payleven


Payleven has become only the third card reader solution to go on sale at Apple's stores, and is the very first to do so with the Chip and PIN solution popular in Europe, The Next Web reported on Wednesday. The first card reader to hit Apple's stores was Square, which has become the seemingly default option for card swiping on the go in America.

Payleven is hoping to become the Square of Europe with its Chip-and-PIN solution, which is the brand name adopted by banks in the U.K. and Ireland for EMV smart card payments. Chip refers to silicon embedded in the customer's card, while PIN stands for the personal identification number that a customer must supply to authorize a transaction.

Though they're not widely used in the U.S., Chip and PIN cards are almost universal in Europe. Payleven's launch at Apple Stores marks the first time that a Chip and PIN product is available at mass market retail.

The accessory maker first started talking to Apple about its product before it launched in February 2013. Company co-founder Konstantin Wolff revealed that getting a product on Apple's shelves has a number of requirements that cover product design, availability, and packaging.

"In the end, the Apple brand stands like no other for innovation and state-of-the-art technology," Wolff told The Next Web. "Ultimately, the ability to meet their specifications as well as being a Pan-European player were key success factors in this deal."

Apple's stores have served as the launching pad for a number of high-profile innovative products over the years. Most recently, Apple was the first retailer to carry Philips Hue connected LED bulbs, as well as Nest learning thermostat.
post #2 of 10
This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenartist View Post

This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.

In Canada chip & pin is the universal. I can't remember last time I saw 'swipe' used. In the Apple stores the payment is done via a 'brick' like iPhone. It is an iPhone or iPod with  something attached about as thick as the 'brick' shown here but the shape of an iPhone. The keypad is on the flip side with physical keys.

post #4 of 10
A touchscreen for the PIN is a terrible idea. Everyone physically hides the keypad when entering their PIN by touch and you cannot do that with a touch keypad.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

In Canada chip & pin is the universal. I can't remember last time I saw 'swipe' used. In the Apple stores the payment is done via a 'brick' like iPhone. It is an iPhone or iPod with  something attached about as thick as the 'brick' shown here but the shape of an iPhone. The keypad is on the flip side with physical keys.

 

I wouldn't say it's universal, but it's both far more common than the swipe and sign method, and always used for anything serious.  Who even signs their credit card anymore anyway?  A lot of kids today don't even have "signatures" per se. 

 

I can't remember the last time someone actually checked my signature with the card signature either, but it always makes me smile because it truly is just "security theatre."  No average person is qualified or capable of detecting a fake signature really.  

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenartist View Post

This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

A touchscreen for the PIN is a terrible idea. Everyone physically hides the keypad when entering their PIN by touch and you cannot do that with a touch keypad.

 

True. But even worse is the risk of malware on the phone capturing the keystrokes. Throughout Europe (don't know about Canada) it is actually a requirement by the banks that card reader and keypad have to be communicating directly and not through additional software.

 

I think this device will only appeal to a limited audience anyhow. Pretty much all shops that need them already have wireless handheld "Chip and Pin" terminals, even with integrated printers. These communicate wirelessly with a base station hooked up to a landline or WiFi access points. The Payleven solution might only appeal to use cases where there is no landline or WiFi.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenartist View Post

This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.

Lol, so as a busy stall holder/shopkeeper you want to hand your unlocked iPhone to a member of the public on the other side of the counter. Genius comment. This looks like a traditional chip and pin device and is more likely to be trusted by a customer. I'd never enter my PIN number into a stranger's phone.

It's not all about slim and sexy.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenartist View Post

This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.

 

There is already several more innovative and beautiful alternatives in EU. For instance the Swedish developed iZettle. 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenartist View Post

This brick screams to be slimmer and attached under the iPhone, w/o the PIN-pad and the little display, which both could be replicated on the phone. Handling TWO devices seems silly comparing to the traditional chip-and-pin readers being just ONE device. Good to see this finally appearing in Europe but the design needs to be improved.

Regulations don't allow that sort of thing.  This is why you don't see Square or that sort of app doing PIN based debit transactions in the US either.  Having written an iOS based credit card processing client myself, the regulations do not allow there to be any intermediary between the card reader (swipe/chip/etc) and  the backend server.  The reader encrypts the transaction directly and the phone only passes it on to the backend.   It has no access to the internals.    You COULD make a keypad reader in the USA that would work the same way, but it would have similar "issues" on the aesthetics side like this one does.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I wouldn't say it's universal, but it's both far more common than the swipe and sign method, and always used for anything serious.  Who even signs their credit card anymore anyway?  A lot of kids today don't even have "signatures" per se. 

I can't remember the last time someone actually checked my signature with the card signature either, but it always makes me smile because it truly is just "security theatre."  No average person is qualified or capable of detecting a fake signature really.  
That's because a signature is required indicating the card holder has agreed to the terms. Before electronic payments, you used to have to let the cashier copy the card numbers using a carbon paper transfer machine, and sign that. Today you sometimes still see this in Taxi cabs. But that's the exception. In the US, you still have to sign everything if you use the card as a credit card transaction.

In Canada , US Debit cards are run as Credit Card cash advances. Credit card cash advances incur interest the second you use it, on a credit card.

PCI DSS is what prevents having the touch pad be used as a PIN entry device. This is to prevent "skimming" of the PIN and card number. You can buy any off-the-shelf smart card reader and read the numbers off the card already.

The weakest link in credit card systems are in fact the continued use of magstripe cards. Even NFC cards are more secure by virtue of transaction limits.
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