Tag: square mobile payments

Mobile payments firm aims to mimic success of Square

Mobile payments company uses Square as an example

Mint, an Australian mobile payments company, has been negotiating with three of the largest banks in Australia concerning the launch of a new mobile commerce platform. The company intends for the platform to emulate a similar platform designed by one of the leading companies in the mobile commerce field: Square. U.S.-based Square boasts of one of the most widely used and successful mobile payments services in the world, making it an attractive example for Mint’s initiative.

Mint to base new solution off of Square platform

Mint develops a variety of white label mobile payments applications for several companies interested in engaging mobile consumers. The company recently attained accreditation from Bendigo Bank, giving it the green light to pursue a new payment card initiative. Last month, Mint launched a small card reader designed for smartphones in New Zealand. The reader can process payments from credit cards, making mobile commerce somewhat more accessible to consumers without NFC-enabled devices. This particular product is being used by more than 1,000 Bank of New Zealand customers.

Mint - Mobile PaymentsRegulations may impede success

Mint is expected to launch another mobile payments service within the coming weeks and its latest offering is expected to be based heavily on that pioneered by Square. Square boasts of more than 4 million users worldwide and processes some $15 million in mobile payments every year. Much of Square’s success has been garnered through the relatively lax regulations that exist in the U.S. concerning mobile payments. In Australia, however, staunch regulations may make it difficult for Mint to mimic the success of Square, especially because Mint is forced to work through banks rather than market its mobile commerce solution directly to businesses and consumers.

Consumers eager for NFC-free mobile commerce

Mobile payments are becoming more popular among Australian consumers, which bodes well for Mint’s future plans. Many people are demanding access to mobile commerce services that are not based on NFC technology. This is due to the low availability of NFC-enabled devices. Mint is well positioned to meet consumer demands with its technology and line of products.

Mobile payments service, Square, fined $507,000 in Florida

The company received the fine from the Office of Financial Regulation for operating unlicensed.

Square has found itself in some hot water in the state of Florida for operating a mobile payments service without first receiving a money transmission license from the Office of Financial Regulation in the state.

This is not the first time that the company has been pursued by a state financial regulator in the U.S.

Though this most recent fine was in Florida, for $507,000, it had also been served a cease and desist order in March 2013, in Illinois. In that case, the cause of the problem was also for its failure to become licensed before it began operating its mobile payments service.

The most recent fine was for offering mobile payments services for two years without having a license.

Mobile Payments - Fine issued in FloridaThe span of time for which the fine applied was for operations as a mobile payments service from February 2010 through November 2012. According to the Florida payment order, the issue was that “Specifically, the Office finds that Applicant’s existing payment processing services (including Square Register) and stored value/prepaid access card services required a license under Florida law.”

The order was dated on July 23, 2013, and it points out that the first application to be a mobile payments service in Florida, by Square, was in November 2012. After the company paid the $507,000 by way of a wire transfer, Square was granted a money transmission license that made it possible to operate legally from that point onward. The order states that the company “neither admits nor denies” being guilty.

According to a spokesperson from the Square mobile payments company, Aaron Zamost, “We worked with Florida to resolve our application and receive our license to operate as a money transmitter in the state.” He added that “We look forward to continuing to help merchants across Florida grow their business with Square.”

Last year, the mobile payments service managed to raise $341 million (which includes a strategic investment from Starbucks of $200 million in September 2012), so the fine doesn’t appear to be too damaging at this time. However, in the Illinois case, things were more difficult, and it has since been used as a case regarding the lack of clarity in some of the state licensing laws.