Motorola offers 'snap-on' device for mobile payments

Motorola’s new mobile payment device can be clipped on to handhelds and includes a slot for swiping and reading credit cards

Motorola announced a new product called the Snap-on Mobile Payment Device, which will work with its enterprise-class wireless handhelds, the MC-70 and the MC-75.

The device, which can be clipped on to the handhelds, includes a slot for swiping and reading credit cards for payments. It sells for US$655. The MC-75 sells for more than US$3,000, depending on the connections it is equipped with. Motorola announced the Snap-on Mobile Payment Device at the US National Retail Federation conference in New York.

Because the handhelds are able to communicate over both wireless LANs and WANs, it's possible for retailers to swipe credit cards and make nearly instant credit checks in areas outside of normal checkout locations, said Brian Viscount, vice president of marketing for mobile enterprise computing at Motorola, in a telephone interview.

The Snap-on Mobile Payment Device, which attaches to Motorola's MC-70 and MC-75 wireless handhelds, is used to swipe credit cards and make payments.

"Mobility inside of stores is the next wave in customer-facing applications," Viscount said. The snap-on device should be ideal for retailers that don't want to buy a dedicated payment device. About 600,000 MC-70s and MC-75s have shipped globally, meaning there's a large installed base of users for the new device.

Storekeepers can use mobile payment systems for taking payments at sidewalk sales or in aisles away from checkout counters, or even to reduce lines of shoppers waiting to check out, Viscount said. Field workers can also use the devices to take payments.

The ruggedized snap-on device alone weighs 3.5 oz. and includes a 13-button keypad. The MC-70 and MC-75 use Windows Mobile 6 and above. Viscount said that despite some recent rumours by bloggers, Motorola's enterprise division "remains 100% committed to Windows Mobile."

Last October, top Motorola officials criticized the Windows Mobile platform for its consumer uses but still said they would |stick with the operating system for high-end phones, in addition to adding Android-based phones. The company is still seeking to spin off its mobile phone business in 2010.

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