Square-style payments come to UK smartphones with mPowa

Swiping your card on an smartphone dongle finally crosses the Atlantic. Just in time to get caught in the NFC storm

Small businesses in the States have been accepting credit and debit cards with nothing more fancy than an iPhone (or other smartphone) and a swipeable dongle for a while, but now Brits can get in on the action with the introduction to the UK of mPowa.

Similar to the the Square mobile swiping solution (already available in the US), mPowa helps anyone take card payments without any specialist equipment. And while it may seem a bit retro to be bringing in swiping tech when contactless payments via NFC are already possible, the slow uptake of NFC in mobiles (not least the iPhone) and paucity of contactless-friendly shops means that smartphone swiping still has a decent shot.

Crucially, it means paying for your pizza delivery by card will now come without the hassle of reading out all your card details over the phone. As long as the delivery driver has an compatible smartphone, he’ll be able to swipe your card at the door. Extra pepperoni on ours, thanks…

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