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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Hi-tech sleeve turns your iPhone into Nets machine

Nets hopes to roll out the Nets iSMP gadget by the year end
The Straits Times - April 26, 2012
By: Irene Tham
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Hi-tech sleeve turns your iPhone into Nets machine -- PHOTO: NETS

A TRIAL will be held from next week to test the viability of using iPhones for cashless payment.

Local cashless-payment service provider Network For Electronic Transfers (Nets) is testing a device - developed by France-based payment technology maker Ingenico - that fits over any iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

The gadget contains a magnetic stripe reader so the customer can swipe his ATM card for direct debit from his bank account, and a keypad to enter the PIN.

Nets hopes to roll out Singapore's first such gadget, dubbed Nets iSMP, by the year end to allow home-delivery personnel to collect payment for goods like pizza and laundry services.

'Not only does this new solution enable merchants to perform secure e-payments anywhere, it also gives them the flexibility of using their own phones to do so - what could be easier than that?' said Mr Kevin Wong, Nets general manager of product management.

For the phone-cum-gadget to work as a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, an iPhone application has to be downloaded, and used to enter the merchant's name and payment amount.

Transactions will be transmitted over general packet radio service, a mobile data service that comes with all iPhones sold here. The data will be encrypted by a security element in the gadget.

Today, some 70,000 POS terminals are used by more than 16,000 merchants in Singapore.

The Nets iSMP is expected to open up new markets, said a spokesman.

The gadget, which will be on an internal trial for three months from next week, can accept some eight million ATM cards bearing the Nets logo here.


No rush expected for phone wallet feature