A Mobile Phone with Built-In Card Reader

A Mobile Phone with Built-In Card Reader

Mobile devices are increasingly used at checkout, and mPOS devices became an advantageous alternative to accept card payments safely. More start-ups are developing innovative apps to turn merchants’ smartphones into actual POS terminals. Cielo, a South American processor, introduces a smartphone with a built-in card reader.

This payment specialist partnered with two mobile carriers, TIM and Claro, to rollout a new smartphone which natively embeds a card reader.

Lio+ is meant for small merchants and service providers, such as ridesharing drivers. Cielo hasn’t yet fully described these devices’ specifics but few details have been unveiled at a conference held in Sao Paulo. Lio+ will Android-based, and marketed under the brand Quantum. It will also provide access to a Cielo Store, with more than 100 commerce management apps available for download. A small card reader will be installed at the back of the phone.

This smartphone will cost 1, 078 reais (€222), and merchants may pay in 12 monthly instalments. They do not have to rent a POS terminal. Lio+ will also be sold by Claro and TIM. Cielo, however, specifies that the users will be able to choose any other mobile carrier.

Comments – Another step towards the retail commerce

Just a few days ago, Cielo’s shares dropped by 3%, and the group announced a reduction of their profit margins for Q2 2018. They are now opting for a strategic shift and setting new goals. Several measures have been implemented to make their model profitable, including increased rates. Cielo also started selling their devices instead of renting them.

Lio+ is part of this strategy. Cielo aims for micro-companies and SMEs to challenge new entrants, such as PagSeguro. Cielo already sold card readers for merchants via their subsidiary Stelo, but hopes additional products can be added to this smartphone over time (especially, through their Cielo Store). The group also launched new terminals enabling merchants to process QR code payments, in partnership with Banco Bradesco and Banco do Brasil.

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