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Smartphones tablets can process plastic

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (8/29/11)--Verizon Wireless and Intuit have unveiled a new strategic alliance giving small businesses the ability to process credit card payments on smartphone and tablets. Verizon Wireless will offer Intuit’s GoPayment mobile payments app and a pocket-sized credit card reader through its 2,300 retail stores and business-to-business sales channels. The mobile card reader plugs into the audio jack of supported smartphones and tablets, and lets business owners swipe credit cards and debit cards. The app also allows users to enter card information manually. “Payments and transactions are often the biggest hurdle businesses face,” said Mike Schaefer, executive director of the Business Solutions Group for Verizon Wireless. “Our value proposition is to streamline, simplify and enable business owners to get paid with minimal delay. This collaboration with Intuit is an important part of our strategy to bring the most innovative online and mobile tools to our customers.” Small businesses need the flexibility to accept payment from customers in the way customers want to pay, added Chris Hylen, general manager of Intuit Payment Solutions. “Rather than lose out on potential business, anyone who sells a product or service can now easily and affordably give their customer the option of playing with plastic,” he said. Intuit Financial Services provides banks and credit unions with on-demand solutions and services that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their money.

Dwolla readies proximity payments tool

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DES MOINES, Iowa (8/29/11)--Dwolla, the online, social, mobile and location-based payment platform supported by The Members Group (TMG)--will release a new tool that will allow users to exchange funds with people and merchants in their proximity through their smartphones. Proxi, as the new tool is called, also allows users to exchange funds without the use of cards or near-field communication (NFC) technology. “Proxi represents a software solution to mobile payment’s current hardware problem,” said Dwolla Founder Ben Milne referring to near-field communication, a technology predicted to change the way consumers make point-of-sale transactions. “While we continue to be excited for more development in technologies like NFC, we’re not willing to take a wait-and-see approach. We’re enabling safe, affordable mobile payments right now.” Along with its peer-to-peer uses, Dwolla sees Proxi as a way for merchants to accept mobile payments without investing in additional hardware. Milne and his team said Proxi will become an invaluable tool for mobile merchants, such as farmer’s market vendors or taxi drivers. After launching Proxi on a smartphone, mobile merchants can broadcast their location, making themselves “visible” to other Proxi users within a specified radius and for a specified amount of time. For instance, a farmer’s market vendor may opt to make his booth visible to Dwolla users within five miles for one hour through Proxi. This will provide potential customers a real-time list of nearby Dwolla-accepting merchants. “We anticipate the addition of Proxi will encourage even more financial institutions to see Dwolla as a key to attracting Gen X and Gen Y,” said Brian Day, product development architect for TMG, the company distributing Dwolla to credit unions and community banks. “Members of the younger generation are drawn to the benefits of mobile payments, and the financial institutions who can give them a safe, affordable option will win customers for life.” TMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Affiliates Management Company, which is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members.