Bank of the Bahamas International has launched a mobile credit card machine that allows customers to pay with plastic anywhere, anytime.
The BISX-listed bank recently introduced the hand-held, chip-enabled mobile Verifone, providing taxi, limousine and livery drivers with the point of sale terminal (PoS) prior to introducing it to a broader audience.
“We introduced the Verifone 520 in late December and have already had reports from taxi and livery drivers that they have not only experienced an increase in revenue as a result, because people are extending rides or tours, but they personally feel safer because they are operating in a cashless environment,” said Leonardo Thompson, Bank of the Bahamas International’s assistant manager for merchant services.
One of those drivers, Kenly Charite of SUV Transport, said the cashless payment process has raised his business to a new level.
“It has been a real plus,” said Mr Charite.
“It’s especially important for business and corporate clientele who send their representatives and managers to the Bahamas, and now they can get a proper printed receipt for their expenses, so I am getting more financial clients because of this.
“It’s really uplifted my business.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference it’s made, including new contracts for services.”
Mr Charite, who owns several livery vehicles and employs more during conferences and other busy times, said the point of sale terminals have also been helpful to families running short of cash and are grateful for the ability to pay by credit card.
“Often, they come on vacation with a certain amount of cash and they spend more than they planned, so they are relieved to know they can still get transportation using a credit card. It makes life easier for the guest and better for us as a transportation company,” he added.
The terminals, which were selected because of their high level of anti-fraud protection, are equipped to take Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.
“We reviewed all the options,” said Mr Thompson, “and went with the Verifone 520 because it is chip-enabled, making it the safest on the market.
“This is the way the US, which had been using the European system, is going. Chip-enabled is the way of the future for protection.”
The mobile terminal provides additional comfort to the customer through its proximity, Mr Thompson said.
The card is always visible, within grasp and view, rather than being taken by a merchant to a back office or more distant terminal.
And business and payee can both check transactions online.
The bank ultimately plans to broaden what it is promoting as ‘transactions made simple’ in the coming weeks.
“We envision it helping all sorts of small businesses or those who move around a lot – straw vendors, mechanics, people at markets, plumbers,” said Mr Thompson.
“They can present a bill and have it settled right there on the spot.”