In recent months, the number of mobile payment systems in Germany has been rising continuously. More and more banks are converting their cards to contactless payment. Garz & Fricke, Hamburg, a specialist in electronics for vending and dispensing machine technologies, is now presenting KarL4 its current contactless payment system for the girocard debit card.
Aren’t coins in fact the favourite means of payment for Germans? Well, not quite. Admittedly, the majority of the older generation still believe that only hard cash counts. Younger customers with a greater affinity for technology, on the other hand, are increasingly reaching for their cards rather than coins to settle small amounts at the supermarket till, the parking ticket dispenser or vending machine. Mobile payment by plastic card or in the digital version on a smartphone is booming. In the first half of 2019, for example, more than one in five payments using girocard were already contactless. Observers of the market assume that roughly 80 million girocards will have been converted to contactless payment by the end of 2020.
With its own KarL4 solution, Garz & Fricke is particularly serving the field of applications in which smaller sums are involved. “The usage options for this category of payments are growing rapidly because more and more companies are relying on contactless payment systems”, says Kay Lemke, Sales Manager at Garz & Fricke. Accordingly, he sees a high potential for vending machines, in the field of electromobility and wherever customers have to pay amounts of less than €25. Contactless payment systems are spreading rapidly even in the catering sector and in retail where more and more butcher’s shops and bakeries, for example, are planning to do without cash in the near future.
Approved by the German Banking Industry Committee
With KarL4, Garz & Fricke covers precisely that range of requirements for the market segments mentioned above. The solution has been developed for contactless girocard and is suitable as a straightforward way of paying amounts up to 25 euros, without the need to enter a PIN. In 2018, KarL4 secured approval from the German Banking Industry Committee (GBIC).
KarL4 uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to transfer data, which permits very customer-friendly and secure handling within a mobile payment system: simply pull out the card, position it and pay.
Furthermore, KarL4 is quick and easy to integrate into various devices. If required, Garz & Frick can provide support for its customers with integration of the hardware and in all matters connected with the software.
Garz & Fricke also supplies the new contactless payment system as a complete package. In this case, KarL4 can optionally be combined with the company’s own touchscreen display HMIs. This makes it possible to create a complete module that can be tailored to all the individual requirements of manufacturers who want to integrate more than just contactless payment into their devices.
Customers who opt for the contactless payment system from Garz & Fricke receive a full package comprising complete connectivity as well as reliable management of both payment and terminal. Additional contracts such as those with payment providers or mobile network operators are no longer necessary.
Protection against the effects of weather and vandalism
The reader and separate controller for the KarL4 contactless payment system are quick and flexible to install. Only four holes are necessary for fastening the reader to the machine or device housing concerned. Large apertures in the housing are not necessary, which prevents unwanted intervention. This in turn increases security. As the controller is located inside the device housing, it is protected against vandalism and the effects of weather.
Commissioning takes place automatically. KarL4 is instantly ready for operation. Thanks to the integrated LTE modem with SIM chip, the solution can go online straight away. No network administration is necessary.
Due to the secure age verification, KarL4 also makes it possible to prevent certain goods from being issued to the under-aged. This enables the regulations for the protection of minors to be met for self-service vending machines.
“In KarL4 we have developed an innovative system ‘Made in Germany’ for the contactless payment of small amounts”, explains the responsible product manager and managing director Matthias Fricke. “Our system is easy to use and can be integrated into a large number of customer-specific applications.”