Payments, payments, payments – it’s one space that has been taking up a lot of column inches recently. The latest to step into the spotlight is Adyen, which launched its Shuttle mobile point of sale (MPOS) platform across Europe on Monday with simultaneous events in Berlin, Amsterdam and London. With its online mobile Chip and PIN payment service, the Dutch company faces stiff competition from iZettle, Payleven, SumUp, and StreetPay – but Adyen is focusing on large brands, as a payment channel alongside eCommerce, rather than micro merchants.
The launch, perhaps keen to show off some startup glitter, took place at the Kreuzberg office of online marketplace Gidsy, whose CEO Edial Deker praised Shuttle for enabling event organisers to accept payments face to face.
The system works like this: The merchant specifies how much is to be paid on a smartphone or tablet, which connects to the Shuttle device via Bluetooth. Customers then put their card and PIN in to the standalone device to complete the transaction and a receipt is emailed to the customer.
One obvious benefit is making transactions seemingly more secure as the card is not inserted into a device which is plugged into the smartphone or tablet, thus avoiding the trouble iZettle had at one point with Visa over the security of its devices.
All major European credit and debit cards are accepted on Shuttle, which can be used anywhere on the continent. Adyen is hoping it will prove especially attractive to large retailers which can use it as an in-shop alternative to queueing for the checkout.
Speaking at the Berlin event, co-founder John Caspers said that Shuttle is not targeted at smaller merchants, but rather bigger brands which already use Adyen’s payments processing services. “We are not a consumer brand. As a consumer you would hardly ever see Adyen anywhere. We’re a brand for the top 5,000 largest e-commerce or multi-channel brands.”
As for an answer as to why the company is following in such well worn footsteps, John insisted that it was all about adding functionality to existing products: “We were never trying to be the first on the market with a pan-European device that was fully compliant with the European standard of having PIN codes. We were just building cost solutions for our merchants that were multi-channel.”
This multi-channel approach of having various payments systems in place has attracted the likes of Vodafone, Getty Images, KLM, and SoundCloud as well as hosts Gidsy. Edial Dekker said: “Gidsy connects travellers and locals with things to do. Although we’re a website, much of the magic at Gidsy happens offline when people meet up to do an activity. We’re really excited about the oppurtunity for our organisers to accept card payments face-to-face at these real life locations. ”
The Shuttle device costs €99 upfront for the merchant as well as a monthly €10 fee, while transaction fees are relatively low at 1.4 percent for credit cards and 13 cents for debit cards. This compares favourably to the competition – Payleven charges 2.75 percent per transaction, and StreetPay 1.9 percent.