Mobile payment tool bids to slash SME debts

A new payment system is launching in the UK that will enable companies of all sizes to accept credit and debit card payments through their mobile phone.

The service has been developed by mPowa, which has partly been inspired by the £35.5 billion of debt that is owed to SMEs in the UK alone.

Using a mobile phone app and reader which connects to any mobile device, customers will be able to make payments on the go using their card.

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“We created mPowa as a response to an age-old problem that needed a solution – a universal payment system that will enable anyone to accept money from customers without excessive costs or waiting times,” explained chairman and CEO Dan Wagner.

“Whether you’re a large enterprise looking to mobilise your sales team, a market trader, or a local plumber who wants to accept payment on the spot, even from customers who don’t have cash to hand, this is a unique offering that will have a huge impact right across the country.”

mPowa says that figures for the second half of last year show SMEs waited an average of 29.6 days more than the agreed terms for payment, an increase on the previous six months.

Because many firms are currently unable to accept card payments due to the cost of devices, mPowa will act as a way of shortening the payment process.

The mobile app is free to download and functions as the control centre that accepts the payment. It monitors payments made by card as well as cash and cheque, and processes each transaction securely.

The reader, when connected to a mobile phone, is used to swipe the magnetic strip of the card, or for the chip and pin device, the card is inserted and the customer is prompted to enter their PIN code. mPowa will enable businesses, including sole traders, to take payments immediately without waiting for invoices to be issued and paid.

The only cost associated with using mPowa is the 25p or 0.25% fee charged for each credit or debit card payment processed. As it accommodates existing banking relationships, businesses do not have to change their banking details to use the service.

“I am always speaking to businesses that squander valuable time chasing late payments because they were unable to take the money upfront in the first place,” added Wagner. “This problem is crippling companies who are already struggling in this difficult economic climate and many are having to close their doors because of this. mPowa will be an invaluable service for accepting payments whether the point of sale is the doorstep or the shop floor.”

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