A unique mobile app that transforms a smartphone into a payment terminal is launched by Slovenská sporiteľňa together with Global Payments and the Visa and Mastercard card associations. Merchants in Slovakia are among the first in Europe to be able to use this app. In particular, this innovation helps small merchants to enable customers to pay for goods or services cashless. At the same time, during the current pandemic, it contributes to secure banking, as it speeds up payments and minimises contact with cash.

According to Global Payments statistics, people learned to pay with a card more frequently during last year's corona crisis, and this trend continues. In 2019, Slovaks spent 1.73 billion euros cashless, which is almost 5 million euros a day. Despite the fact that stores are now mostly closed, with a few exceptions, card payments amount to 4 million euros per day. Matej Horňák, an analyst at Slovenská sporiteľňa, also confirms the growing interest in cashless payments: "Last year, the number of card payments in stores and on the Internet increased by 5%. Numerous lockdowns and restrictions pushed consumers to the online space, where in 2020 the number of payments increased by a third compared to 2019."

The coronavirus crisis confirmed that interest in cashless payments is also growing on the part of merchants. "During the pandemic, the number of payment terminals of our corporate clients increased by up to 20%. However, it is still true that there is the potential to double their number in Slovakia. But not every merchant needs a classic payment terminal. Some would like to have a simpler solution without the need for additional equipment, especially if they do not use it continuously. That is why we are bringing an innovation that will serve especially small businesses with a smaller volume of payments. In addition, this digital novelty will be added to our Crisis package for one year free of charge," explains Martina Zrníková, expert for corporate banking at Slovenská sporiteľňa.

Slovaks will be able to take advantage of this innovation among the first in the region. "We are the first to launch the full-fledged app in Central Europe; no one else has launched the same solution on the market so far. We want to respond to the growing interest in card payments and help merchants and sole traders to allow their customers to pay conveniently," says Global Payments CEO Igor Žganjer.

How does it work?

The mobile app GP tom works on all phones with Android 8 and higher and with an NFC chip. Card payments can be accepted by merchants wherever there is a data signal. If the customer needs a proof of payment, it can be sent via SMS, email or QR code.  The solution is ideal e.g. for taxi drivers, couriers, marketers, craftsmen, doctors or small shops. Other advantages include speed and simplicity. The merchant can start accepting cards within a few hours of signing the contract. The app can also be supplemented with cash register systems, which will be appreciated especially by seasonal businesses who will no longer have to buy any other equipment. The merchant will also see an overview and history of all transactions directly on his phone.

The solution is secure, the PIN is entered on a floating keyboard

Payment takes place similarly to a traditional terminal – the merchant enters the amount, the customer uses a card, phone or watch, enters the PIN code as required, the app connects to the authorisation centre and authorises the payment. The money will be credited to the merchant's account the day after the transaction.

"There will be a change for the shoppers in that they will have to put their card near a phone, instead of a terminal. However, we know from surveys that if a payment is made in an environment that is familiar to the customer, or in a situation where he expects a payment, the behaviour of customers should not change. The phone itself does not store any sensitive payment data, so there is no need to worry about security or misuse of card data. In addition, the entire solution is fully certified and has successfully passed all demanding security certifications," explains Radovan Bryx, manager of the team that produced the new app.

Phone and watch payments with Google Pay, Apple Pay or Garmin and Fitbit devices do not need to be confirmed with a PIN, just like card payments up to 50 euros. The PIN is required only for card payments exceeding 50 euros. A special floating keypad will appear on the display, which the buyer uses to enter the PIN. The keyboard moves so that the entered data cannot be detected by the fingerprints.

The GP tom app can be downloaded from Google Play once the merchant enters into a credit card acceptance agreement with Global Payments. For more info about the app contact any branch, company centre or through the Slovenská sporiteľňa hotline.

The revolutionary app would not have been possible without the involvement of several companies

The GP tom app was created over more than a year and its birth would not be possible without the cooperation of card associations.

"According to the latest Mastercard survey, up to 46 percent of the Slovak population now use cashless payments more often than before the outbreak of the pandemic. It is therefore important to continue to bring relevant innovations that will help merchants respond better and faster to customer needs and further simplify the path to the payment terminal. Therefore, we believe that this mobile app and close cooperation of Mastercard with Slovak merchants will significantly contribute to bringing the number of terminals in Slovakia, which is currently only 16 terminals per 1,000 inhabitants, as close as possible to the European average of 32 terminals per 1,000 inhabitants," explains Martin Dolejš, Director of Sales and Development at Mastercard for Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 "More and more people today expect the convenience of paying by card, no matter where they shop. However, there are still places where the use of the card is not possible: outdoor markets, snack stalls, new family businesses. Millions of sole traders and small businesses around the world are struggling with the obstacles related to making regular payments. Visa is therefore working hard to make the digital payments that customers require as accessible as possible," says Marcel Gajdoš, Visa General Manager for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Samsung also contributed to the successful launch of the new product, providing mobile phones free of charge for development and testing. Thanks to this, the app is compatible with more than 2,000 phones and variants of the Android operating system.


Erik Brinkáč, Director of Development, Global Payments,
Tel: +421 910 683 939, Email: ebrinkac@globalpayments.sk

About Global Payments

The largest provider of payment services and technology in the world. It operates in 100 countries around the world, has 24,000 employees and 3.5 million clients. It processes more than 50 billion transactions a year. It focuses mainly on small traders and businesses. It ensures that customers can pay with their card. It will equip the store with a terminal for receiving cash and cashless payments. It provides a payment gateway to e-shops through which customers can conveniently pay, even from a mobile phone.

In Central Europe, Global Payments is a joint venture with the Erste banking group, in Slovakia specifically with Slovenská sporiteľňa. This subsidiary called Global Payments s.r.o. provides payment terminals and online payment gateways to 50,000 businesses in Central Europe.