Mastercard and U.K.-based Handpoint jointly unveiled a partnership on Wednesday that will bring “essential technology” for contactless payment options to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in European countries.
The partnership between the U.S.-based credit card issuer and the in-person payments company will leverage Handpoint’s products to bring “greater acceptance of card payments” to SMEs based in the U.K., Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia and Slovakia.
The collaboration comes as the number of contactless payments has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mastercard and Handpoint noted that currently 75% of all Mastercard transactions in Europe are done through contactless means.
Many small businesses “who work only with cash have been disproportionately impacted in recent months by the health crisis,” Jason Lane, executive vice president for market development of Europe at Mastercard said. Lane said that Mastercard wants “to empower small businesses to accept more payment methods, to generate more sales and support their economic recovery,” whether it is via online or mobile payments.
The partnership will offer an “intuitive payment app” called mPOS that will allow SMEs to “securely accept card and contactless payments through affordable and portable card readers,” as well as an “all-in-one, smart payment terminal,” known as smartPOS that will offer a “seamless checkout experience.”
In addition, another offering called “softPOS” will allow the Handpoint platform “to support the future evolution to a payment software solution without terminal hardware requirements.”
Handpoint’s system will also include a feature for easy recordkeeping, the companies said, with a tool aimed mainly at SME owners in countries that require reporting of all transactions to the government.
“Payments that offer choice, flexibility and business intelligence have never been more important, for merchants who are adapting to card payments,” Handpoint CEO David Gudjonsson said.