AT&T Inc. is moving into mobile payments.
The Dallas telecommunications company will offer two payments applications from Apriva Inc. to its merchant customers.
Merchants can access the AprivaPay software through smartphones' Web browsers.
AprivaPay Professional is software designed to work on a variety of phones, such as Windows Mobile devices, Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and those using Google Inc.'s Android system. Only the Windows Mobile version is available now, but Apriva said it expects to launch the iPhone version this month and the others in early August.
The deal with AT&T was announced Wednesday.
Both versions of AprivaPay enable mobile merchants to accept credit and debit card payments without the need for a dedicated device. The Apriva software is the first "of this kind that AT&T is offering to businesses," said Igor Glubochansky, the executive director of mobility marketing for AT&T business solutions.
The two companies have worked together before — Apriva's wireless terminals operate on AT&T's network and Apriva resells AT&T's connectivity services. "The model here is different, however. AT&T is reselling Apriva's [services] that work on mobile devices, including smartphones," Glubochansky said. AT&T's sales force will market Apriva's payment applications through direct mail, sales campaigns, online advertising and other methods, he said.
AT&T will funnel merchant inquiries to Apriva, which is working with Total Merchant Services Inc., a Basalt, Colo., independent sales organization, to set up merchant accounts.
AT&T will not receive any per-transaction revenue from Apriva's software. Instead, merchants will pay AT&T a monthly fee for their wireless data service and monthly fees of $14.95 for AprivaPay and $19.95 for AprivaPay Professional. Merchants also will continue to pay acquirers typical merchant account fees. "Merchant fees are set by the acquiring partner and are not significantly different than any other comparable merchant processing [service], including made-for-purpose terminals," said Bill Ramsey, vice president of business development for Apriva, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
In January, when both AprivaPay versions were announced, the software's wholesale price was $10.
Generator Research, a U.K. research firm, has estimated global mobile payments volume will reach about $600 billion by 2014.