Payment acceptance can be tricky for merchants - especially those with small and medium-sized businesses. To accept payments, merchants must purchase a point-of-sale (POS) system or card reader. Then, they must attach the hardware to either a computer system or mobile device.

Traditional payment methods require two separate systems to communicate with each other effectively. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work as expected. For instance, if the connection between the device and payment system (such as a card reader and smartphone) is disrupted, the merchant won’t be able to process the transaction. Then, if the consumer doesn’t have cash on hand, the merchant may lose the sale altogether.

Cost is another barrier. Payment devices can be expensive - especially for solutions that process a variety of transactions, such as contactless and mobile payments. Unfortunately, some merchants may not have the capital to invest in a payment device upfront. Without offering flexible payment options, merchants may struggle to capture sales.

This reliance on separate payment systems, devices and attachments is a challenge we are working to overcome.

We at NMI recently partnered with Finaro, Mastercard and Northmill to develop Tap on Phone Cloud Commerce - a payment application that allows merchants to accept contactless payments from their mobile devices. With Tap on Phone, merchants won’t have to purchase any physical hardware; they only need an app.

After downloading the app to their mobile device, the software will connect to their device’s built-in near-field communication (NFC) to enable contactless payments via phone, card or wearable.

“You’re downloading an app on your phone and then using it to take payments,” NMI Chief Product Officer Peter Galvin said. “So there’s really not that much of a change from the merchant’s perspective to any other app.”

This new payment solution reduces the upfront costs associated with traditional payment acceptance and streamlines the payment experience.

Tap on Phone allows merchants to:

  • Simplify buying and selling
  • Reduce the risks associated with faulty payment devices
  • Provide customers with more payment options
  • Lower the upfront costs required to accept contactless payments

We (and our partners) have launched Tap on Phone in several Nordic markets. In the future, we plan to expand our services to other areas of Europe. To learn more about Tap on Phone, read Galvin’s full interview with American Banker here:

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