Apple Inc.’s MFi licensing program for devices designed to work with mobile Apple products has certified Blue Bamboo’s P25-M mobile printer and card reader, the China-based point-of-sale terminal maker announced Oct. 29.
When used with an Apple iPhone, the printer connects to the phone’s data port. A Bluetooth version to pair the printer and phone wirelessly is in development, says Justin Anderson, Blue Bamboo chief marketing officer in the United States.
The P25-M has a suggested retail price of $299.
Blue Bamboo also certified iPay POS, a payment application developed by Tustin, Calif.-based Rapadev LLC, to work with its mobile printer. Other payment applications will work with the printer as long as they are part of the Works for iPhone component of Apple’s MFi certification program, Anderson says.
Meantime, Square Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile-terminal firm, says its card reader that plugs into the iPhone’s audio jack now is compatible with the iPhone 4. A technical issue having to do with the structure of the pin inserted into the audio jack disrupted the data connection between the reader and the payment application for many users, according to Square’s online support forum.
Earlier this week, Square released a revised version of its reader that should resolve the issue, and accountholders are receiving the device now, the company says.
Blue Bamboo and Square are just two of a multitude of companies chasing mobile merchants, each trying to offer something different. And that includes how peripheral equipment connects to smart phones.
Whether they use a physical or wireless connection usually depends on what the merchant or acquirer needs, says George Peabody, an analyst at Mercator Advisory Group Inc., a Maynard, Mass.-based consultancy. “They use the audio jack because it doesn’t change,” Peabody tells PaymentsSource. “Some are just going to need a card swipe and be able to e-mail receipts,” while others may require an integrated printer, he says.