PhonePOS converts an Android smartphone into a contactless payment terminal

Contactless payment terminal, supporting PIN entry with no additional hardware.

German firm Rubean, CCV Group, Intertrust, and Riscure have introduced a contactless payment application that converts an Android mobile device, running 8.0 Oreo or later, into contactless payment terminals. Called PhonePOS, the app is designed to bring card acceptance to micro-merchants.

 PhonePOS takes the form of a mobile App which will enable a suitable smartphone to accept contactless card payments as if it were a Chip & PIN device at retailer’s point of sale. A vendor can simply download the app to their phone and start taking payments : This is a “software-only” solution where no further hardware or peripheral devices are required.

PhonePOS smartphone

How PhonePOS works

The card acceptance workflow:

  1. Customer holds their contactless EMV bank card on merchant’s smartphone, which is equipped with the PhonePOS app. Phone reads PAN number from card.
  2. Phone sends payment order to PSP.
  3. Merchant finally receives the payment authorization result.

If the customer requests a digital receipt, they are asked to enter their name and mobile phone number and then receive the receipt via SMS. Recurring customers, who once have already entered their name and phone number, may just verbally confirm their name to the merchant. The merchant can then enter the name into the app and initiate the receipt dispatch as well as the award of loyalty points, if applicable.

The application is certified to Visa and Mastercard brand pilot-programmes and requires no additional hardware to support PIN entry.

Developed to PCI CPoC standards and certified to Visa and Mastercard brand pilot-programs, PhonePOS will launch first in Germany and then roll-out more broadly throughout Europe. The solution will be deployed through European-based acquiring banks, and also offered as a service through CCV.

Intertrust general manager of the Secure Systems product group Bill Horne said:

“This has been an enormous technical team effort.

“Combining whiteCryption, our world-class application shielding for zero-trust environments, with Riscure’s penetration testing and certification, has brought down barriers for Rubean and CCV to deliver streamlined payment capabilities to the market.”

Many smaller merchants still only accept cash payments, citing the prohibitive cost of leasing POS hardware as the main reason.

We’re all carrying less cash these days and the ability for a (hitherto cash-only) merchant to accept card payments with their own smartphone will increase their customer conversion rate.

Street vendors, food outlets and the like also benefit since they won’t be forced to carry large sums of cash which makes them a target for criminals. Trades people won’t be forced to chase cash payments from their customers (often several trips) if they can take card payments on the spot.

Larger merchants and Retailers also stand to gain : Valuable retail floor-space is devoted to fixed POS functions – “check-outs” by any other name.

By enabling more shop assistants to take card payments out on the shop-floor, the retailer can devote MORE floor-space to revenue-generating activities. Customers can buy their items on the shop-floor without having to queue at POS – Hugely important for busy periods like Lunch-hours and Christmas.

This customer-focused initiative would be genuinely appreciated by shoppers and improve retail operational efficiencies across the board.

To extend support to big retailers, the application is also being tested for deployment onto professional retail tablets with complete terminal-management capabilities.

Rubean CEO Hermann Geupel said:

“The challenge of delivering a software-only solution has revolved around protecting the confidentiality and integrity of payment account data on consumer-grade mobile phones and tablets.

“With PhonePOS, we have developed a highly secure—and at the same time broadly usable—payment acceptance solution.”

Rubean and CCV have worked together to develop and deploy the seamless solution. Rubean’s security and monitoring software meets the high requirements of a smartphone-based card terminal. CCV’s acCEPT PaaS (Payment-as-a-Service) ecosystem, proven in thousands of live installations worldwide, is the optimum solution for the new tap-on-phone system as it deploys most parts of the POS functionality to the cloud.

This makes PhonePOS a lightweight app with increased security and flexibility.

CCV Germany chief technology officer Günther Froschermeier commented:

“As cashless payments explode, the benefits of POS integration are becoming paramount. For example, instead of using additional hardware micro-merchants can use their Android smartphone for card acceptance, hospitality providers can integrate electronic payments within their ordering devices, and even large corporations can extend their business with home delivery solutions.”

Intertrust’s whiteCryption solutions have been employed to protect the encryption keys and provide application hardening, bringing a higher level of tamper resistance to the application itself. Riscure provided sophisticated penetration testing and certification.

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