SECO has expanded the functionality of its KarL4 payment system. This means that contactless payment at terminals and machines enabled with KarL4 will soon be possible also with MasterCard and Visa in European countries outside Germany.
Approval for the use of these credit cards with KarL4 is planned for the end of June.
KarL4 is SECO’s payment terminal for contactless payment. It enables customers to pay securely and intuitively for amounts up to €50 without entering a pin code. KarL4 uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for data transmission with the payment card. This provides a very customer-friendly handling: simply place the card on the KarL4 to process the payment. KarL4 can be optionally combined with a SECO touch display HMI. SECO can also integrate KarL4 into a customer-defined machine designed and manufactured by SECO.
KarL4 was originally approved in 2019 as a TOPP (Terminals-without-PIN-Pad) by the Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft (DK) for use with the German girocard. The new enhancements to KarL4 include, in addition to MasterCard and Visa, the use of a so-called acquirer (payment service provider), which handles the acceptance and settlement of credit card payment transactions. Payments in Europe will be facilitated by the Frankfurt-based acquirer VR Payment as the first partner. Additional acquirers for Europe and for the USA are being planned.
With these enhancements, existing and future SECO customers can now offer to their clients payments at terminals with KarL4 without the girocard – a payment solution used only in Germany. For the cardholder, the payment process at the machine is identical to using a girocard. However, MasterCard and Visa can now be used without a PIN to make purchases at KarL4-enabled terminals for amounts of up to €50. Existing KarL4 systems can easily be retrofitted with a software update.
KarL4 can be used wherever small amounts are paid, such as in the vending sector (e.g. snack and drink vending machines), but also in the fitness, entertainment, gaming, medical, retail, smart cities, and transport sectors.
In the future, SECO also plans DC-POS 3.0 certification, which will additionally enable acceptance of American Express (AMEX), Discover, Union Pay, and JCB.