South African startup Emerge Mobile hopes to bring mobile point of sale (MPOS) services to Africa, affording business owners reasonably priced access to on-the-go payment services.
Emerge Mobile’s payment solution allows a business owner to turn his or her smartphone into a POS terminal. The owner plugs his phone into Emerge Mobile’s Edge device, types in a description of what is being sold and hand over the device to the customer for authentication.
The device integrates with iOS and Android devices.
The company, which claims to be the first South Africa-designed and developed chip and PIN device that is internationally certified, has built its services on an idea conceived by United States-based point of sales (POS) providers Square, which deals in magstripe.
“I was reading an article in Fortune magazine about Jack Dorsey and Square, a mobile payment technology in the United States, and thought it could work in South Africa,” Emerge Mobile managing director (MD), Matthew Putman told HumanIPO.
Putman started the company along with Ramsay Daly, current marketing director of the point of sales provider. They got in contact with Square asking if the company would be interested in expanding into Africa, a request that was declined.
“Ramsay saw the article open at my house, read it, and thought it would be a good idea,” said Putman.
At this point the co-founders started thinking about implementing MPOS services in South Africa from the ground up.
“Square just dealt with MagSwipe technology, no product offered services for mag and chip,” said Putman.
Putman’s father Clive, who has a PhD in electrical engineering and a history in hardware development, joined the team to offer his technical expertise.
The company received its initial funding from Capital Eye Investments, shareholders in wiGroup, which provides a strategic partnership enabling the team to allow for the acceptance of mobile coupons and vouchers, as well as card payment.
Emerge Mobile’s white label payment solution is PCI-PTS and EMV 1 and 2 compliant, allowing banks to integrate the system into already existing infrastructure.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.