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Small businesses in the United Kingdom have few options when it comes to accepting EMV chip-and-PIN cards on smartphones.

VeriFone Systems Inc. took its PayWare Mobile point-of-sale service outside the United States for the first time in February when it added acceptance for EMV chip-and-PIN cards and Near Field Communication-enabled devices.

Elavon Inc. is about to do the same, at least on the EMV front.

Elavon’s UK presence is significant on two fronts, notes Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based consulting firm Double Diamond Group LLC.

“There is nothing really remotely widespread,” Ablowitz says about mobile-acceptance hardware in Europe. “Our research says, where smartphone adoption is growing, smartphone card acceptance will grow quickly, and that’s happening in the UK.”

A merchant using mobile-acceptance hardware also is a security improvement for those that might be entering card information into a potentially unsafe mobile app, Ablowitz says. “Merchants are potentially taking some risk when using those apps,” he adds.

Payments Source, January 4, 2012