It seems like there are endless mobile point-of-sale options appearing in digital app marketplaces. From the tried-and-true Square app to professional rigs like LightSpeed, new businesses have countless options to choose from.
However, the startup app company known as Flint is creating ripples in the mobile point-of-sale world, with its quiet but innovative launch on October 17. Flint was able to raise a hefty $6 million in funding before the release of the Android app, and it looks like Flint may be on the rise as a mobile payment star in the app arena.
Mobile camera scanning
The free app takes a different approach to accepting credit card payments. Instead of using a magnetic card swipe system, Flint sets itself apart by scanning credit card numbers using a mobile device camera.
When you accept a credit card, the Flint app will activate the camera on your phone or tablet. A grid overlay appears, and you’re instructed to align the credit card numbers with the on-screen grid. The transaction is then processed through a PCI DSS-compliant portal, which allows you to verify payment in a secure manner.
Flint’s departure from magnetic strip readers can reduce hardware costs for vendors. You no longer have to rely on replacing card readers or connecting card-swipe devices to printers and cash drawers.
However, the lack of hardware seems to be both a blessing and a curse. Flint currently does not support peripherals like cash drawers and receipt printers. This app might be ideal in truly mobile sales circumstances, like swap meets, food trucks, and farmers markets. But the lack of hardware support might pose challenges to longstanding retail stores and offices.
Competitive debit and keyed entry rates
Flint has managed to undercut the competition by offering a 1.95% transaction rate on debit card purchases that are scanned with a mobile camera. The company has also dropped fees on keyed card entry for both credit and debit options, which are 2.95% and 1.95% respectively.
This is excellent news for companies that take orders over the phone, since a card is not physically present for swiping or scanning. Competing mobile payment apps generally charge a minimum of 3.5% per keyed transaction, so Flint can really appeal to companies with high phone traffic.
Social marketing support
Very few mobile apps integrate social marketing into their systems. Usually, vendors must use separate third-party apps to manage email lists and maintain contact with customers via social media.
Flint helps to break down these barriers, by integrating social marketing features right into the transaction process. You can opt to include your company’s Facebook link in your digital receipts.
Customers will be able to click on “Tell a Friend,” which takes them to a business review page. They can rate their experience and provide feedback, which is then posted on your company’s Facebook page.
This marketing integration lets you keep in touch with customers after their transaction is complete. The receipt doubles as a call to action, encouraging customers to revisit their experience and share it with others.
Social marketing integration increases your chances of exposing customers to your social media presence, online portfolio, and branded web content. This feature can dramatically increase your online engagement rates, and promoter reviews can lead to new business opportunities.
The new Flint app is available for both iOS and Android devices as a free download in the App Store and Google Play. The camera-card scanner and lack of peripheral hardware connections makes this an easy starter point of sale for businesses on the go. Flint’s competitive transaction pricing makes it an appealing contender in the mobile point-of-sale world.