Small Business Mobile Payments Just Got More Interesting

In Turkey, there’s a new app that lets customers pay a small business with a simple tap of the mobile phone, no hardware necessary. What this means is that Square’s swipe dongle could go the way of the dinosaur. Could it be possible that Silicon Valley has been usurped by technology being tested in Turkey? The app maker is ING and they’re looking for a way to tap into the millions of small businesses who are still hampered by their inability to take digital payments.

Some of today’s most popular payment apps are near ubiquitous. They include PayPal, Venmo, Square, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay among others.

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PayPal started out as a payment mechanism for buyers and sellers on eBay, but the use cases quickly expanded and today the company supports payments to and from virtually anyone. The company has over 240 million active accounts with total payment volume exceeding $450 billion annually. PayPal has also been acquisitive along the way, buying iZettle, Hyperwallet, Simility, and Jetlore.

Venmo is now owned by PayPal and has become the tool of choice for peer to peer payments. Over 2 million merchants and retailers also accept Venmo mobile payments. It was recently reported that the app processed over $12 billion in one quarter.

Square is best known for the white square dongle that’s plugged into the end of an iPhone and can read a credit card swipe. That swipe brings in 2.75% of the transaction amount straight to Square’s wallet. However, there are no monthly fees and deposits are available in one to two business days.

While Google, Apple, and Samsung Pay are gaining in adoption and are no doubt very easy to use, the ING option proposes something new and interesting. The merchant doesn’t need any special hardware technology to accept credit card payments. S/he simply downloads the app and is ready to start accepting payments after an initial setup. There’s no crazy hoops to jump through.

ING is running its test in Istanbul and depending on the results will seek to roll out the technology in more regions. Who knows, perhaps their unique technology will spread to the U.S. and equip the country’s millions of microbusinesses with instant digital payment acceptance capabilities.