Register App Eliminates Card Swiping in Mobile Payments

Dallas-based payment technology provider Tantrum Street is counting on its new patent-pending technology to free consumers from the need of credit and debit card swiping.

Tantrum’s Cartwheel Register app for mobile payments includes number recognition technology that detects and scans the digits directly from a customer’s plastic credit or debit card. When held in a smartphone or tablet camera’s field-of-view, the card number is instantly read, encrypted, tokenized and transmitted to the appropriate payment processors. The app never takes a picture of the card, and no card or primary account number information is ever stored on the device.

“This is a major shift away from legacy hardware and accessories—it means, literally, the only thing a merchant needs is a smartphone or tablet,” said William Cervin, co-founder and CEO of Tantrum Street. “Specifically, Cartwheel Register frees merchants from unreliable and insecure credit card swipers during mobile payments. We’ve developed a simpler, faster and more convenient method that takes card acceptance and security to unprecedented levels.

Merchants also receive a guaranteed flat rate per transaction when using Cartwheel Register, while eliminating the need for costly PCI and EMV upgrades. Since the technology does not read a card’s magnetic stripe or EMV chip, each payment is designated as a card-not-present (CNP) transaction—but with a rate that rivals card-present levels. Tantrum Street is also PCI DSS 2.0 Level 1 compliant, the highest certification level.

“In addition, a mobile device’s camera is consistent and doesn’t degrade over time like a swiper dongle,” added Cervin. “How many merchants swipe a card 10 times before getting it to work? Even worse, an alarming percentage of mobile swipers in use today don’t encrypt card data.”

Tantrum Street also uses its number recognition technology in Skip Wallet, its recently announced cloud-based digital wallet. Tantrum plans to make this technology available as an SDK to companies and developers for use in their own apps.

Cartwheel Register will be available for iOS devices in early-2014, with availability on Android and other platforms shortly thereafter. Companies can join the app’s invitation list at and enter a chance to win free transactions throughout 2014.

Tantrum Street has built a modern, cloud-based data and payments platform that powers its three products: Cartwheel Register, a free app that accepts payments and runs small businesses; Handshake, enterprise middleware enabling mobile interactions and payments for governments and existing POS infrastructure; and Skip Wallet, a free digital wallet and app for consumers. By combining camera capture technologies with an accessible cloud backend, its platform provides freedom from traditional payment hardware, software, and accessories.

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