99Bill.com, a popular online payment service in China, has rolled out its own card reader, in an effort to create a POS device for domestic users. The company says that this is the ‘first commercial use of such a product’ in mainland China. The device can be used with Android or iOS devices, and gives users mobile selling capabilities. The reader plugs into the headphone jack and communicates with mobile apps. The payment solution supports both pass code and signature based bank card transactions. This is especially important in the China market, where pass code enabled bank cards are the most common …
Statistics shows that China has huge demands for card present transactions, but still lags behind other markets around the developed world where POS devices are extremely common, like Square mobile credit card reader in the U.S. According to People’s Bank of China, the nation had issued a total of nearly 3 billion bank cards by the end of 2011, an increase of 22 percent from the previous year. According to a research, there were a total of 72.1 million smart phones being sold in China during 2011, and it is expected to have continue growth this year. The increasing penetration of mobile devices gives 99Bill card reader a natural edge in this market segment.
Still, in a country like China, security remaining the first concern for all potential customers, especially the credibility of the devices itself. Scammers could create some knock-off readers to skim the bank cards, and we have not mentioned the terrible hacking on Android platform yet. Smartphone-based payment service can be very well-developed in western countries, but in China it is totally a new kind of payment method which will face all sort of unexpected circumstances, business transaction can be rather complicated in a communist country.
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