Fiserv Looks to Hit Square in the Middle of Mobile Payments

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Payments provider Fiserv ( FISV) is gearing up to help thousands of banks follow in the footsteps of Discover Financial Services ( DFS) and eBay ( EBAY) unit PayPal, while also going up against the Square payment service.

With its new SpotPay mobile card reader service -- announced on Monday -- Fiserv looks to partner with banks to exclusively distribute a service to small businesses, "that enables merchants to accept card and check payments anywhere, anytime."

One key element differentiating SpotPay from Discover and PayPal, is that the merchant will be able to use a smart phone or tablet to swipe any credit card.

Discover and eBay in August agreed to a partnership allowing PayPal's customers to be able to use the service to make purchases at the 7 million retail locations that currently accept Discover, beginning in the second quarter of 2013. In hindsight, this was an obvious step for PayPal, allowing the service to move beyond facilitating web-based transactions.

This is similar to the Square Card Reader, but SpotPay has the advantage of also allowing merchants to "deposit checks using the mobile remote deposit capture feature from Fiserv that allows users to securely take a picture of the front and back of a check and deposit the item electronically."

Fiserv general manager for network solutions David Keenan, says "there is a proliferation of mobile devices and now that everyone has one in their hand, it is going to make sense to bring about a revolution in 'anytime anywhere' commerce," and that "financial institutions need to be in the center of this."

"We have all grown very comfortable with card-based payments add check-based systems," he says, "but the financial institutions community brings trust and security and is in a unique position to protect that payment system so that you and I don't get ripped-off."

"SpotPay helps financial institutions return to the center" of payment processing, Keenan says, adding that "we have created a solution that has better features than anything on the market, better pricing and is delivered through that trusted FI relationship."

"We are thrilled by the initial response here," at Fiserv's annual conference in Las Vegas.

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