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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.

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