If you’ve ever stepped foot in an Apple Store and bought something, you will know that the sales clerk that serves you has a portable card reader powered by what looks like an iPhone.
It makes the whole payment process easier and means that if you can grab a sales clerk you don’t have to queue.
Sadly you won’t find that service anywhere else in retail, at the moment.
Ingenico is a company that you will have never heard of and for all intents and purposes don’t need to. They make the terminals for banks to supply to retailers so you can pay at the end of your shopping spree, dinner, or whatever else you are buying.
The iSMP, by Ingencio, is the world’s first solution able to turn the iPod touch and iPhone into an EMV Chip and PIN Secure Mobile Payment solution.
In non-security-banking speak the app side manages the stock control and billing, while the iSMP handles the secure payment bit.
The idea, and Pocket-lint has seen the new device in action, is that a clerk will be able to scan a barcode, have that data captured by a dedicated app and then that app talks to the terminal on the backside of the device when it comes to paying.
That side, which is as secure as a terminal you are used to being handed in bars and restaurants, then looks after the secure payment process, be it chip and pin or the old fashioned swipe.
It grabs the connection via the phone meaning payments are quick and simple.
A Bluetooth printer can be connected for receipts (a law in France), but more likely emailed to the shopper, which is an option in the Apple Store.
Ingenico tell us that they expect banks around Europe to roll out the new devices in the next 6-12 months.
And yes, thanks to the same design, it will work with the iPhone 4S.