July 21, 2011, 12:24 PM

Anywhere Commerce leaves home

The point-of-sale company has a new mobile mission.

Lead Photo

The Rambler enables card-present transactions on many smartphones and tablets.

Anywhere Commerce is the new name of HomeATM ePayment Solutions, a company that tried for years to promote a device that promised online retailers a way to lower the cost of accepting payment. The name change reflects the company’s new mission to capture mobile point-of-sale transactions, says Mitchell Cobrin, co-founder and CEO.

HomeATM’s original device could be attached to a computer via a USB port. Consumers could use the device to enter their personal identification numbers for their debit cards on the web sites of participating merchants. Checkout software prompted the consumer to swipe their debit card and enter their PIN. The HomeATM reader found few takers among merchants and consumers. “We know we’re not going to change consumer behavior,” Cobrin says.

But he concluded that the company’s original product could be repurposed for mobile payment acceptance. With that in mind, Anywhere Commerce is focusing on mobile payments. “The company became pigeon-holed as PIN debit in the home,” Cobrin says. The company now is targeting “line-busting” inside stores via mobile device checkout, home-based sellers, tradesmen who provide in-home services and portable storefronts such as an ice cream vendor on the beach.

The company now has four mobile POS products. The Rover is the original card reader with built-in PIN pad. Nomad is a chip-and-PIN compatible reader for smart cards. The Rambler reader is a small card reader with no PIN pad. All three can connect to devices via the audio jack or USB port of a computing device. Anywhere Commerce’s fourth device, Safe-T-PIN, is designed to connect to a merchant’s POS system.

Many companies are pursuing mobile payment acceptance. Square Inc. has a card reader and software for use on smartphones and tablets, as does VeriFone Systems Inc., a POS device maker, and Roam Data Inc., which makes payment software and a reader that can be used with many phones.

Cobrin is optimistic that Anywhere Commerce has a place in mobile payments. “The trajectory,” he says, “is looking very strong.”

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