mPOS and the opportunities for card acquirers

In my last blog post about mobile payments and the opportunities for acquirers, I defined mobile payments from our perspective and how we regard the structure of the market landscape for it.

1. mPOS
The payment is executed on a mobile device of the merchant, card present

Examples: Square, payleven, SumUp

2. mCommerce

Payment is executed on a mobile device of the shopper, card not present

Mobile optimized shops, Mobile Apps (Games, shops, etc…)

3. mSolutions

Payment is executed as part of an application in the background, in the point of sale or online, it might even not be clear if card present or card not present

Examples: Opentabs

In this blog, I will have a closer look at mPOS and how it is changing the payment landscape from an acquirer’s perspective.

Traditional card acquirers using their standard POS devices often have weaknesses:

– Slow boarding times of new merchants, from a few weeks to a few months

– Small merchants are often denied during the boarding process

– No alternative payment method offering at POS

– Bad reporting

– Not connected to other channels like mCommerce or eCommerce

– Limited ways of interaction with the shopper

– High deployment and setup costs

All of the above mentioned issues have become “normal” and the majority of merchants have not even been asking for improvements for many years. Nevertheless, the market situation today has changed dramatically.


All of a sudden there are players in the market that offer solutions that can change the industry:

a) Seamless merchant onboarding processes built into websites bringing down boarding times to hours instead of weeks

b) Payments can be accepted anytime and anywhere

c) mPOS solutions are tightly integrated into CRM processes allowing close communication with the shopper

d) Wallets and alternative payment methods enter the POS space

e) Open APIs for integration of 3rd party applications

f) New level of shopper data available (e.g. email address, phone numbers, shopping basket information)


All the above enable new players to enter the market place, and are potentially threatening existing card acquirers. What started as a solution for small merchants only clearly is becoming today also more and more attractive for medium to large merchants.

Traditional acquirers still have huge advantages due to their strong merchant base and long experience but they need to be cautious in their strategic moves and decisions.

1. Do acquirers really want to allow new players acting in new and sometimes very unconventional ways entering the market?

2. How do acquirers prepare for this development? How do acquirers decide where and when to invest? How do acquirers protect their existing business against new players entering the market?

Market leaders in the acquiring space can even use these recent developments to further develop their position and to broaden the gap to their competition. New technologies allow them to take their business a huge step further by offering faster onboarding processes, automated set-ups and cost effective merchant integration. It not only gives them easier access to the not yet served market of small merchants, but also allows them to offer POS solutions to large merchants that go far beyond traditional services. Loyalty programs, vouchers, customer relationship management, and many other things are just one step away to offer merchants real value added services.

At PAY.ON, we focus on providing an innovative mobile platform that allows acquirers to build their solution based on a secure and flexible modular setup. We provide standard white-label products of the shelf, as well as flexible setups fitting into any kind of business idea.


In my next blog post, I will focus on mCommerce solutions in the market, which ones will be successful and why and what strategies card acquirers can take to be part of the game.


Markus Rinderer

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Markus RindererView all posts by Markus Rinderer


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