Point of Sale Payments from your Web Browser

payworks now offers a simple way to integrate card readers into webshops that run on iOS and Android.

Something recently happened to me that made me want to give up “offline” shopping completely: I went into a store to try out a pair of sneakers that I had found online. Everything was perfect — everything but the size. The clerk told me that they don’t have my size on stock anymore and she tried to sell me on another pair. I wanted exactly this pair, so I left the store with a bad feeling and bought the shoes online. That’s one lost sale for the retailer, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who had this problem.

Interestingly, an increasing number of companies is trying to solve this problem by letting the shopper order the missing item directly from their online store. I think that the easiest and cheapest way to do this is to have an iPad available that runs the online store in a browser. However, then, one of the problems is the payment: Card not present payments don’t work as merchants are generally not allowed to have clients enter credit card details on in-store devices. They need to integrate physical payments.

We’ve been approached a couple of times now to solve this problem. It is the retailer letting its shoppers order this missing pair of shoes, a field sales force that needs to sell directly from a webshop, or a provider of a web-based cashier system. Using a webshop to do offline sales has many applications, and all of them need to integrate with a physical card reader.

That’s why we set out and tried something new: to offer a simple way to integrate card readers from the browser, in web shops and web-based cashier systems. And this is how it looks like:

Technically, there is a special payment app installed on the phone or tablet whose only purpose is to wait for payment commands from the web browser. On checkout, the webshop shows a “Pay With Card Reader” button with a special link that contains the amount and merchant details of the transaction.

Clicking this button opens the payment app and starts the transaction. The user is guided through the secure checkout. Once he is done, the app returns to the browser.

As of now, this integration option works only on iOS and Android. If you’re interested in trying this out, contact us or have a look at our implementation recipe.

Thanks to @redshift13 and @jakriz for implementing this.

Pictures: nanagyei / flickr. License CC-BY-SA