Nothing more: how to turn a smartphone into a payment terminal

Nothing more: how to turn a smartphone into a payment terminal

How a telephone for 6 thousand rubles can replace an expensive POS terminal

Modern technology has changed and continues to change almost every aspect of human life. Some 10 years ago, payments using bank cards, and then smartphones, were just a pleasant opportunity, but now it is difficult to imagine everyday life without them. And if until recently micro and small businesses considered acquiring a rather expensive option for themselves, now the situation can change dramatically. Nikita Khomutov, director of the acquiring department at PSB, told Gazeta.Ru about the new technology that will make these changes possible.

– In the modern world, the development of almost any industry is closely related to digitalization. How does technology make life easier for SMBs when it comes to providing financial services?

– PSB is now carrying out a digital transformation aimed at ensuring that in the future our clients – both individuals and businesses – can receive 100% of all financial services online. We are already very advanced in this. And online lending is a good example: more than 65 thousand entrepreneurs have already used our remote lending platform, and we expect their number to exceed 100 thousand this year. background of the pandemic. By the time it began, we had been working on an online business lending project for a long time, and it took us only a few weeks to rebuild the system in order to launch the process of issuing preferential financing to entrepreneurs. and PSB ranked second in terms of the number of loans issued under the most ambitious program of state support for small and medium-sized businesses “FOT 2.0”. Businessmen did not even have to leave their homes to receive money into their account, everything happened online. This is one of the prime examples of how technology can make life easier for entrepreneurs.

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– The introduction of any technology requires an initial cost. To what extent are they justified and do such investments allow to reduce costs in the future?

– The introduction of technologies, of course, costs money, but they pay off in two or three years and help attract new customers, increase the volume of transactions and the average check. Therefore, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are monitoring the development of technology and actively investing in it. The pandemic has shown that those businesses that have adapted to online sales, delivery and other remote services have weathered this coronavirus much better than those that have not invested in technology.

And the bankers were actively working at this time. In addition to issuing subsidies, we, among other things, equipped retail outlets with terminals, connected Internet acquiring to support sales in companies. Because, say, a small cafe with an area of ​​100 or 200 square meters was completely unprepared to organize the delivery of its products. Therefore, in any case, technologies, even if they require additional costs today, tomorrow will become a good help not only for keeping the business afloat, but also for its development. This is an opportunity to be better than competitors. PSB, in turn, offers its clients promising solutions that other banks do not have.

– What technologies related to the financial sphere seem to you the most useful and appropriate for representatives of small and medium-sized businesses?

– Here it is worth talking about Internet acquiring and everything that is associated with wide opportunities for accepting payments. Such services are now especially in demand in the retail segment, one of the most massive in Russia, where online payments and interaction with marketplaces received a new impetus against the backdrop of the pandemic. The use of teleworking solutions potentially increases the number of clients and, as a result, profits.

– Please tell us more about the PSB Business Pay service. As far as I know, this is some interesting proposal in terms of acquiring for small and medium-sized businesses. Is it a full-fledged alternative to traditional acquiring? What is the specificity of this project?

– This technology is called SoftPOS, and our acquiring product is PSB Business Pay. In fact, this is acquiring, but not ordinary. The usual one we are used to is a POS terminal, a device into which a card is inserted or attached to it. We have used them many times in stores and continue to use them. There is another type of terminal acquiring – this is the so-called POS reader, which couriers usually come with, because it is small in size and in a convenient format. And now a third entity has appeared – this is when equipment as such is not needed at all.

Together with our partner, we learned how to turn an Android smartphone with NFC technology into a full-fledged POS terminal. Through it, you can accept all types of contactless payments, be it a card, phone, watch, bracelet, no matter what is a gadget, in a word. NFC technology is now actively developing, about 65% of smartphones are equipped with it, and this share is growing every quarter and every year. The advantage is that the new technology does not require the installation of special expensive equipment: the client only needs to install a mobile application on his phone and conclude an acquiring agreement with us. Now, according to the sales that go through this product, we see that the technology has become a truly full-fledged replacement for acquiring.

– What are the requirements for smartphones on which this application can be installed?

– The first is a smartphone based on the Android operating system, the second is the Android 9.0 and higher operating system, and the third requirement is that this phone supports NFC technology. This is also a fairly well-known technology, which, it seems to me, has been on all smartphones running Android for 2-3 years already. If we talk about the price range, we tested the technology on Android phones from 6 thousand rubles to 50 thousand rubles – the functionality is available on all models.

– Android only. What about iOS?

– Apple does not open NFC technology for processing to anyone, anywhere and in any way – it is closed code. This is the policy of the company. As soon as it changes, we, of course, will gladly make a solution for users of this operating system.

– But is it possible to pay with Apple Pay?

– No problem. There are no restrictions on the outgoing NFC signal.

– In what cases, in your opinion, is it reasonable to use the PSB Business Pay service, what business is it focused on and what advantages / disadvantages does it have?

– It is optimal to use such payment terminals, for example, in restaurants or coffee shops, flower shops, bookstores or souvenir shops – where there is no large influx of customers. Also SoftPOS can be useful for large courier services. The company does not need to distribute POS terminals to employees, since the application has a fiscal function. This service will allow delivery services, which have several thousand couriers, to save tens, and maybe hundreds of millions of rubles.

As for the advantages of the service, they include the speed and simplicity of its connection. For example, connecting a client to a POS terminal takes about two to five days. Why? Because you need to accept the client’s request, bind it to the POS terminal, prepare the device, give it to the service company, if it is another city, transfer it to the company, wait until it is received, then engineers come into play – and, finally, a working POS terminal ready. Everything is much easier with SoftPOS. Within one day, we register a client in our systems, and then immediately issue a username and password for him, after which he downloads the mobile application, receives instructions on how to work with the service via SMS and e-mail, and starts accepting payments. Accordingly, we are not limited by the amount of equipment supplied.

Another advantage is cost effectiveness. The cost of a POS terminal, its delivery and installation, further maintenance – all this costs money. And when connecting to SoftPOS, only a percentage of the turnover is taken, which covers the costs of maintenance and payment for payment system services.

And an important point that significantly distinguishes us from competitors: in our mobile application using SoftPOS technology, in addition to accepting card payments, there is also an integrated technology of the Fast Payment System – SBP. That is, you can specify this option at the stage of choosing a payment method. Accordingly, the SBP is even more advantageous in terms of the tariff for the client than the card operation. In addition, the client can deposit the amount in this application, confirm and send the payment link to the buyer’s phone – SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, whatever. And, accordingly, after payment, he will receive a notification in this application. This is convenient when prepayment is required.

– Do you need any technical knowledge to configure the system and ensure its further operation?

– No special skills required. It’s like downloading and installing a mobile bank – everything is automatically downloaded, configured and works.

The interface inside is also as clear and simple as possible. This is a kind of calculator in front of your eyes, on which you enter the amount, press the “payment” button, select a payment method and accept it, receiving a notification of successful payment. There is also a list of operations where you can see what amounts have passed, upload something, for example, a report. The interface allows you to cancel an operation in whole or in part.

– How reliable is the system? If, for example, the connection is bad, won’t the citizen lose money along the way?

– Firstly, the phone has a built-in WI-FI module, and secondly, a spare communication channel in the form of a SIM card – that is, these are two communication channels. A POS terminal, as a rule, has one, and even a regular POS terminal malfunctions if the connection is poor. Therefore, a smartphone is more reliable from this point of view. If the operation takes place and at some stage it ends, then we will complete it when the phone catches the network.

From a security point of view, everything is reliable: the software, the technology itself has been tested in international payment systems Visa , MasterCard and Mir, it has passed all the required certifications, and the security certificate is confirmed by well-known international laboratories that do this for payment solutions around the world.

Based on the results of the pilot use of the technology, which lasted for about a year, not a single case of fraud was recorded. Therefore, we have raised the limits on transactions to 10 thousand rubles, and this is enough for 95% of our clients. Plus, if we see a business area where checks are clearly higher, then we remove the limits altogether.

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