19 Aug 2004
Innovations(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2004)
Vol 4, 2004
The innovative M.POS2002 electronic funds transfer terminal by M.POS Terminals Ltd is the first of its kind designed in Hong Kong
Hong Kong-based M.POS Terminals Ltd has emerged as a global leader in the development of point-of-sale (POS) terminals for mobile electronic funds transfer.
The company is being wooed by major multinationals "who are interested in re-branding our product on an OEM basis", claims the group's director for international business development, Derek Smith. "We are also looking at building our own brand and are drawing up plans to list the company later this year on US capital markets."
It all started in 1998, when M.POS Terminals Ltd managing director Allen Cheng joined forces with smart card expert Smith in an attempt to identify and develop emerging new technologies.
The duo soon spotted the potential in developing a robust and secure commercial mobile POS terminal that would be ideal for promising new markets. "We are confident that over 90% of merchants will feel the need to use POS terminals capable of processing magnetic cards or smart card payments in real time from any location, especially in developing countries," Smith insists.
The unique feature of the M.POS2002 terminal is its ability to capture and transmit data for corporate applications, make voice calls and also offer fingerprint verification of users.
It can also be enabled to offer messaging functions like sending, receiving and printing short message services, as well as sending and receiving email messages.
"We are confident that our electronic funds transfer POS terminal is the best mobile device of its kind in the world - offering GSM/GPRS/CDMA compatibility," Smith enthuses. "It is also a first for Hong Kong as our M.POS2002 was entirely designed locally."
The M.POS2002 terminal has already passed stringent international and local testing procedures vital to securing EMV certification for new smart card banking products from Visa and MasterCard, thus paving the way for its acceptance by leading financial institutions, companies and merchants worldwide.
"M.POS2002 is designed with high levels of physical and logical security, enabling it to be used for credit as well as debit card payments, and is constructed in such a way that it is virtually tamper-proof," Smith notes. "If anyone tries to force open the welded plastic casing, switches on the PCB will immediately wipe all stored information."
Manufactured by Dallas Semiconductor Corp, the processor also has built-in encryption and any attempts to illegally access the chip will result in all data being erased.
In addition, the terminal has been developed for a range of commercial wireless communication applications, making it more than a pure banking/payment device.
"Merchants will also find that it is ideal for the sale of prepaid vouchers," Smith claims. "These stored-value cards can be kept safely in the M.POS2002, which is virtually theft-proof, unlike the scratch card versions that are now widely sold in many countries to add value to prepaid mobile phone numbers."
He notes that merchants in developing countries have to travel long distances to buy stored value scratch cards, which can be easily stolen. "Thanks to the M.POS2002, they can now download these as prepaid vouchers with pin numbers using secure mobile communications," Smith explains. "Unused vouchers can also be easily returned to the original vendor."
The terminal comes with two batteries, one of which can be stored in the cradle and simultaneously charged along with the one in use in the device, thus extending the mobile communication period of the device.
M.POS directly distributes the M.POS2002 in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, but has established distribution networks in overseas markets ranging from North, Central and South America (the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela) and Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) to Europe (primarily Eastern European countries like Russia, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia) and Asia.
"We feel our technology is ideal for developing countries with poor fixed telecommunications infrastructure, and see great potential on the mainland and in India," Smith explains.
"On the mainland, we are focusing on Beijing as our main market, especially in view of the expected growth as the city stages the 2008 Olympics."
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
M.POS Terminals Ltd