Swedish software company Seamless has launched its SEQR payment scheme, a new method that uses the consumer’s camera, a QR code specific to each cash register in a merchant’s establishment, and a settlement mechanism tied to the consumer’s bank account for direct debit transactions. From the Seamless.se Website, here’s how it works:
1. The cashier sends the sum payable to the SEQR transaction switch. (We assume here that there’s a special SEQR app that the consumer has downloaded and installed on his smartphone).
2. (Using that app), The customer scans the unique QR code on the cashier and sends the merchant ID to the SEQR transaction switch.
3. The customer receives a payment request on his mobile phone, and is asked to approve the amount.
4. The customer confirms the amount to be paid by entering his personal four digit pin code.
5. Similar to a regular card payment, the banks verify the information and processes the transaction.
6. The SEQR transaction switch confirms the transaction to the cashier and the customer.
It’s an intriguing approach. Merchants have to like the simplicity at the front end. All they have to do is place a sticker with the correct QR code somewhere at the point of sale. The consumer’s smartphone with camera communicates to the SEQR back end to authenticate the user and approve the payment. Of course, there’s no little integration at the cash register and to the SEQR system, but Seamless has experience with that having offered mobile top-up and transaction services in 26 countries. With the payment credential managed by Seamless, the wallet is simply the linkage between the consumer’s identity, the app, and the preferred method of payment. It’s all in the cloud.
Of course, the technology here is the easy part. Getting merchants and consumers to sign up for the service is where the heavy lifting lies.
“If we imagine that all US retailers start using SEQR, the total savings could be as high as $24 billion each year. This demonstrates the massive potential of the solution,” says Peter Fredell. He continues: “The technology is simple and easy to implement for the retailer since all they have to do is stick a QR code sticker at each cash register. Then, the muscle power is provided by our very advanced and proven ERS 360 system which provides the necessary transaction management, security and links to the customer’s bank account or credit provider Our platform is currently handling more than 2.4 billion transactions in 26 countries each year. Only a select few stakeholders in the world are capable of handling such a high volume of transactions, and our operational security is considered second to none. Our presence in these countries also means that we can roll out the new solution quickly without any major technical difficulties.”
How it works: The consumer uses his/her mobile phone to scan a simple QR code at the cash register terminal. The terminal is connected to Seamless’ transaction platform and the QR code identifies the cash register that the customer is using. Seamless’ platform then responds with a list of items entered and an amount to be paid. The consumer can thereafter pay directly using his/her mobile phone. The transaction takes approximately half the time of a standard card payment transaction.