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Roam Data debuts encrypted audio card reader to turn handsets into POS devices

June 21, 2010

roam-dataRoam Data has introduced an encrypted audio-coupled card reader that turns handsets into point-of-sale devices for accepting payments.

The Roampay Swipe attaches via a 3.5 mm or 2.5 mm audio jack of several devices including, Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone and the iPad. The software includes features such as order entry, inventory look-up and customer relationship management.

“We have a lot of financial institution and ISO resellers and plan to provide our partners with low-cost, secure mobile solutions for the most number of phones,” said Will Wang Graylin, CEO of Roam Data, Boston. “In essence, we created the world’s first encrypted audio swiper that can be plugged into the audio jack of a vast majority of phones.

“Here you’re capturing the magnetic data, but it’s also secure,” he said. “It lets the process know that the physical card was there when the transaction was placed.”

Roam is a full-service mobile commerce provider. It has a fully PCI-certified payment gateway to securely deliver commerce applications with authentication of each device and each session.

Roam mobile
The company is also offering a Bluetooth-enabled printer and card-swipe combination, letting the merchant print physical receipts when necessary.

In addition, the service lets merchants save money on card present transaction rates, according to the company.

“It’s more convenient,” Mr. Graylin said. “Merchants who are using this are getting a more secure transaction.

“This is mainly designed for those merchants that want to accept credit cards,” he said.

A merchant plugs the Roampay Swipe into the audio jack of a handset and then runs the Roampay application on the phone.

The merchant then enters the amount, pushes the swipe button and swipes the card.

The track data is captured, encrypted and sent to the phone, which displays the redacted data – the last four digits, name and expiration date.

“It is compatible with many smartphones and there will be more to come as we add more compatible phones every month,” Mr. Graylin said. “We’re getting the word out through sales efforts, press releases and word of mouth.

“This is the lowest cost secure solution that runs on the most number of phones,” he said.


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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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