Flint removes hardware for merchant smartphone payments

By March 07, 2013
person with a smartphone and a credit card

Most popular mobile payment systems involve a card reader dongle to use their merchant app. Flint offers sellers a service that instantly equips their smartphone with an app that uses the camera as a secure card scanner.

Mobile credit card readers brought wider payment options to many merchants - independent vendors and small businesses, as well as a convenient option for trade shows and special event sales. The barrier to entry was low with free reader hardware from Square or Paypal, but now sellers need no special equipment when they use Flint’s service. The merchant app uses the camera on the seller’s smartphone to read the customer’s card number, then the screen performs the rest of a point-of-sale reader’s functions: security verification, tip entry, cardholder signature, and desired receipt delivery.

A seller app that takes payments and leverages the receipt for social marketing

Flint provides additional features for its users, such as a customer history manager, refund support, and receipt branding. The app emails the receipt, which provides links for the customer to opt into a reward program, as well as share the purchase or store feedback on Facebook. The social link shares the customer entry on their personal page as well as the store page, either of which creates more opportunity for expanded awareness and new customers. Flint offers metrics on both payment activity and social activity, giving brands insight into which customers are their biggest supporters. 

Towards more ubiquity, always

Barrier-to-entry is a major factor in the success of an app, startup or technology. With Flint, they have streamlined a ubiquitous technology with simplifying innovation. Other startups have developed a smartphone payment platform that eschews the card reader dongle in favor of scanning with the camera, such as Card.io or Jumio. But Flint offers integrated loyalty programs and social marketing as a natural part of the payment process, in the receipt. This may give the newer startup industry traction in the highly competitive industry of mobile payments, especially since the larger financial corporations are working hard on gaining market share before smaller companies can get a firm hold.

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas