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Tappr gets the jump on mPOS rivals

Following a year of pilot programs and its app release this week, Fortitude Valley’s Tappr is gearing up for 250 pre-orders of its mobile payment hardware by the end of October, ahead of an expected full release in March 2015. And behold, we’ve got one of the first photos of the prototype!

The hardware, titled Tappr Card Reader after the company renamed all of its software and hardware under the Tappr brand, looks something akin to a standard PoS card reader. But Tappr’s reader is specifically designed to take “payments for small businesses that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to take payments,” as Senior Marketing Coordinator Lauren Borger told us last time.

Basically, while the pre-orders are initially designed for iOS devices, Tappr’s card reader will be able to connect to any mobile device following its full release next year, and incorporates customer and marketing analytics.

This lands it firmly in the territory of San Francisco company Square, and while the differences here are a little tricker to distinguish, we know that Tappr’s specific application to more evolved financial jurisdictions such as Australia sets the technologies apart. (Square itself highlights the curiously backward nature of the US payments market on their EMV page.)

Notably, Square’s lack of a compliant PIN pad restricts its use to sub-$100 transactions in Australia, which has moved to a purely signature-less system since August this year. Tappr’s system, on the other hand, has been designed for the Chip and PIN environment we now find ourselves in, as we reported when they landed a $2 million investment last year.

Finally, the launch of Apple Pay will likely affect Tappr, but that credit-card technology is designed largely for the consumer, not the merchant. So we’ll have to wait until 2015 to see it bat with Tappr’s next product, the virtual-wallet-previously-known as Nero!

About Chris Woods

Chris Woods (@tophermwoods) is the Tech Street Journal's Editor-in-Chief. He lives in Brisbane, has worked in places like Sydney and New York (State of), and will someday update his media-news blog.