NetSwipe makes mobile payments via webcam a reality

The widespread adoption of mobile payments just got another step closer as NetSwipe released its online application for processing credit card payments via a webcam.

Jumio, NetSwipe's parent company, will roll out its mobile versions on Android and iPhone in the coming month and has launched a WordPress plug-in for the popular blog sites which will allow its hosts to accept payments direct from their sites.

Credit card payment: See and pay

The system allows merchants to accept credit cards by simply having them viewed on a webcam, and soon on a smartphone. The technology senses the numbers on the card, plus it has the ability to determine whether the numbers and letters are raised, which is noted as a security feature.

NetSwipe will complete the transaction via secure video feed. According to, Jumio's founder Daniel Mattes said that the risk of fraud is reduced due to the ability of merchants to match the card to its holder (for instance, a man using a woman's card) and confirm the card is in the cardholder's hand. Most fraud is committed by thieves stealing credit card numbers, not the cards themselves, so this system of verifying a present cardholder is designed to give merchants an added layer of protection when making a sale.

Mobile gains momentum

The move to mobile payments is gaining momentum with the introduction of such technologies as these:

  • Square, which allows iPhone users to swipe credit cards using a device attached to their phones
  • AisleBuyer, which is designed to let customers make purchases in participating stores without having to use a central checkout
  • Google Wallet, set to debut this year, which will let users store credit card information in their phones and swipe it for one-step payments.

Point-of-sale transactions are the key to the mobile push, and because card users still have to enter their security code information the safety of the cardholder's information is intact.