The Direct Way to a Variety of Payment Methods
The launch of Computop Close-by is set against a backdrop of change in how payments are being made, particularly in retail. Paying online without POS terminals, even at vending machines or in shops, is very easy thanks to passive NFC tags or the use of an active NFC transmitter to call up a ready-configured payment page on the smartphone. Customers select their favourite payment method and pay directly, often using fast wallet solutions like PayPal or the new Click to Pay. Apple Pay and Google Pay have also proved convenient to use and at the same time support secure biometric authentication. All of which makes a POS terminal in retail almost redundant. Payments can instead be made directly with digital price tags on the shelf, via the product label or in a promotional area.
As well as retail and multiple other scenarios, Computop Close-by will also offer flexibility for consumers paying at EV charging stations. Currently it is not possible in the UK to park up and charge using a credit or debit card on all charging networks as many require drivers to download an app, go to the company's website or use an RFID card. However Computop Close-brings e-commerce-type payment methods such as PayPal, Direct Debit or Alipay into play. With the appropriate configuration in the merchant system, active NFC transmitters can integrate fixed or variable payment amounts securely encrypted in the link.
Solicit Donations Digitally and From Any Location
Computop Close-by is particularly suitable for soliciting donations. With a simple and inexpensive NFC tag, for example a sticker or a key fob, the payment page is called up on the smartphone. An amount can also be transmitted directly, so that only confirmation by the donor on the smartphone is necessary. Since passive NFC tags do not require their own power supply, digital donation is possible everywhere where network coverage is available.
Compared to calling up a QR code, the NFC method is simpler and more secure. Modern smartphones respond directly to the NFC signal without having to activate the device and camera app. In addition, QR codes are easy to forge, while NFC coding is permanent and cannot be overwritten. Overlapping by a fraudulent signal is also ruled out, as smartphones do not react to overlapping radio signals.
Ralf Gladis, founder and co-owner of Computop, was instrumental in driving this development: "Computop Close-by is, like many innovations, an intelligent combination of existing technologies. The NFC process combined with an efficient e-commerce checkout makes a variety of payment situations easier and more flexible. That is why we have applied for international patent protection for this product."