A gadget which enables retailers to take chip and pin payments using their phone will be white-labelled for UK banks within months.
Dan Wagner, chief executive of mPowa, told Huffington Post UK he is in talks with the UK's five biggest banks and is hopeful that a white-labelling deal, which will see his gadget rolled out by a bank to their business customers, will be live in the first half of 2013.
"We're looking to work with existing retailers who already take payments, but unlike a number of companies who want to provide a solution for businesses that don't currently use card payments, we want to help them start using mobile devices," Wagner explained.
"We're talking about attracting trillions in payment, we're going after the big merchants who perhaps aren't able to offer mobile payments.
"Think of a plumber coming over to install a washing machine, or a pizza delivery company coming to your door with food - instead of handing over an invoice or taking payment over the phone, they can take it on their mobile at your door."
MPowa was launched in 2011 and, unlike its American forefather Square, takes chip and pin (rather than swipe) payments. It uses Wagner's earlier venture Powa as an ecommerce platform for processing.
Square was established two years earlier and has enjoyed a successful few years; most recently coffee giant Starbucks committed to using the technology in its high street stores in the US, having invested $25million (£15.6m) in August 2012.
In the states, it even has political connotations: both the Obama and Romney campaigns are distributing Square to its staff and field organisers to collect donations.
Wagner has had a couple of run ins with Square - including a cease and desist order over a promotional image which Square claimed was a copy of its own.
The matter was resolved without going to court by mPowa changing its image, but Wagner laughed when he was asked about it by Huffington Post UK.
"At the time, they were in the process of raising a lot of money, and we came along and pointed out that the emperor had no clothes," he said.
"Their payment system didn't allow chip and pin payments - which are standard outside of the US - and they're not planning to white label the technology - we were a bit of a thorn in their side."
When asked if the UK political elite had come asking to use his gadget to get party donations, Wagner replied: "Not yet, but in principle I have no problem with it; feel free to mention it to them."
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