Rocket Internet’s Mobile Payments Startup Payleven Expands Android Support Outside Germany: App Now Also In UK, Italy, Poland

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More news in the European mobile payment dongle space this morning: Rocket Internet’s Payleven is expanding the availability of its Android app — previously only offered in Germany — to three more markets: the U.K., Italy and Poland, where the app can now be downloaded from Google’s Play Store.

Payleven’s iOS app is available in all markets it operates in — namely: the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Brazil — but Payleven said the Android ecosystem is a harder nut to crack, thanks to its diversity of hardware. A spokeswoman for Payleven said: “As Android devices have different hardware components, it needs refinement to ensure app liability. So to actually launch Android perfectly in many countries is a long [process].”

Despite being more complex, having Android support is essential to growing user-base since Android is such a dominant smartphone platform — accounting for some 70 percent of all smartphone shipments globally. It’s also particularly popular in Europe — accounting for more than 70 percent of sales in Germany for instance (Kantar‘s figure).

Payleven’s Android app supports a range of Android devices — focusing on “popular” handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII and Galaxy SIII, and the HTC One Series line: the One X, S and V.  The app allows merchants to accept card payments by using the dongle plugged into a compatible smartphone (or tablet). Payleven then takes a per transaction fee of 2.75%.

Payleven said all its apps support its current Swipe and Sign dongle — but will also support card payment processing via an upcoming Chip & PIN dongle, due to launch in all Payleven’s European markets in early 2013.

It says it’s adding a Chip & PIN product as the technology is more secure and is required to enter certain markets (such as France). “Payleven is aiming to redefine the highest standard for mobile payment applications by offering a mobile Chip&PIN solution with the only fully compliant card reader to accept all major debit and credit cards and provide users with full fraud protection,” said Ian Marsh, Payleven UK CEO & co-founder, in a statement.