Bank of America is the latest to challenge Square

November 14, 2012

At this point, who doesn’t want to come out with a mobile payment dongle a la Square? This year, it’s been a steady stream of companies wading in, with would-be Square killers from PayPal and VeriFone to NCR and Groupon. Now add Bank of America to the list.

Bank of America’s Mobile Pay on Demand, which becomes available Dec. 3, will offer the bank’s small and medium-sized business customers an easy way to accept credit card payments from an iPhone, iPad or Android device. Businesses can expect to pay a 2.7 percent fee on transactions, a little under Square’s flat 2.75 percent fee, said AllThingsD, which first reported on the service. Mobile Pay on Demand is designed for businesses that do a few, mostly smaller, card transactions a day.

AllThingsD said Bank of America will offer next-day access to funds, customer service by phone and the ability for retailers to be the merchant of record so their name will appear on a consumer’s credit card statements. Other features include no monthly fees, easy online sign-up and integration with existing checking accounts.

Bank of America admitted Mobile Pay on Demand is a me-too, commoditized product, but one that every bank should offer. But it highlights just how competitive it’s going to get in the mobile payment acceptance market. With hardware makers, deal providers and payment processors moving in, there’s no reason why banks wouldn’t want a part of the business, especially since they have a close relationship with many local merchants. They can just add mobile payments to their suite of services for businesses, which already includes payment terminals for larger customers.

(c) 2012, GigaOM.com.

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