Verizon invests in Flint Mobile, a Square competitor that uses no hardware


Credit: Flint Mobile

Smartphone payments processor Flint Mobile has raised a $9.4 million Series C as it continues to attract the attention of mobile carriers. Verizon Communications’ venture arm led the round, with previous investors Digicel, Storm Ventures and True Ventures (see disclosure) participating.

Flint offers a payments service similar to Square Reader, using the smartphone as a portable point-of-sale terminal that can take process any credit card transaction. The difference is Flint doesn’t use a hardware reader to read the magnetic stripe on a card. Instead it uses the smartphone’s camera to scan the card, after which Flint verifies the card and processes the transaction in the cloud.

Flint also announced a new online selling feature, letting its merchant customers put a payment button on their websites. Their customers would enter their credit card data manually, but the transaction is handled over the same infrastructure, giving merchants a unified online/in-store payments system.

DisclosureFlint Mobile is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

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