Near-field communication (NFC) is an important part of the evolution of mobile payments and portends to be one of the industry's major competitive battlegrounds. NFC comprises a set of standards for smartphones and other mobile devices to enable radio communication between them by touching the devices together or putting them in close proximity to each other. The range of applications supported by NFC includes contactless payment transactions, service discovery to pull information and ads, peer-to-peer data transfer and more.
In a space quickly becoming overpopulated with new entrants, ROAM's new card reader distinguishes itself in several key ways. Full end-to-end encryption processes data securely; NFC capability offers merchants unique processing flexibility; Swipe enables standard mag stripe payments for those without contactless cards yet; and ability to connect via the audio jack makes ROAM's readers incredibly simple and ubiquitous across hundreds of mobile devices. The NFC Swipe will be compatible with Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass specifications, the de facto standards that govern contactless payments globally. The readers will work with ROAM's card acceptance applications ROAMpay X, as well as those of its white label partners. ROAM will also offer an API for 3rd Parties building its own applications to leverage the secure NFC Swipe reader.
ROAM said it accelerated its R&D and product commercialization plans in the wake of last month's major investment by Paris-based Ingenico. "The additional capital is accelerating our growth plans and helping us speed up our innovations and product roadmap," said ROAM Data CEO Will Graylin. "Beyond our planned launch of NFC-Swipe in mid-year, we plan to release an EMV Swipe for contact chip cards with magnetic stripe reader in the same convenient package, as well as other turn-key virtual mobile commerce solutions for our distribution partners such as Mobile Checkout, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Wallet that they can offer their merchants."
Over the past year, ROAM Data has been quietly responsible for the vast majority of encrypted mobile card readers shipped in the industry, as part of its push to build market leadership as a provider of mobile commerce platforms. ROAM's technology transforms the smart phones, tablets, and laptops into secure point-of-sale terminals, enabling consumers to securely and conveniently buy goods and services with payment cards. The company's partner roster includes some of the world's largest merchant service providers, including Sage, Vantiv, North American Bankcard, Total Merchant Services, Global Payments, First Data, and Chase Paymentech.