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XLink is the largest provider of wireless-enabled payment solutions in South Africa, with more than 30% market share. Through a secure managed service, XLink provides retail outlets with a plug-and-play solution linking credit card payment devices to the corresponding banks via cellular networks. Typical customers are big retail chains, fuel companies and service stations as well as travel and leisure companies.
To remotely monitor and proactively diagnose any problems with terminals to prevent outrages and maintain customer satisfaction
The business idea behind XLink was to provide a fast, cost-effective and reliable solution for connecting credit card payment machines to banks, using cellular technology to reach the widespread deployments within South Africa.
To compete effectively with the existing monopoly fixed-line service, however, it was vital for XLink to be able to monitor and proactively diagnose any problems with its terminals, in order to prevent outages and maintain customer satisfaction.
Hymie Marnewick, Chief Commercial Officer at Xlink commented: “Uptime is of primary importance in the payment processing business – our customers need to know that their payments can be processed reliably and instantly at the point of purchase. It was clear that we required a wireless module that could meet this challenge.”
Sierra Wireless has provided us with just the sort of monitoring control we need to guarantee uptime for our customers. Its robust wireless modules have also allowed us to deploy systems into areas which previously could not benefit from e-payment, allowing our customers to grow their services while helping in the wider development of the South African banking industry.
Chief Commercial Officer, Xlink
XLink turned to Sierra Wireless, a leading provider of M2M communications products and solutions, to help meet these challenges. Using Sierra Wireless embedded modules for wireless connectivity, XLink built a series of solutions for connecting card payment terminals.
The Sierra Wireless family of wireless modules provided XLink with highly integrated, smart and high-speed connectivity. The integration between hardware, software and services delivered by the Sierra Wireless modules helped XLink benefit from a simplified and accelerated path to the development of its payments applications, allowing it to launch to market rapidly.
XLink also took advantage of Sierra Wireless’ Open AT Framework. The framework provided XLink with a complete software package for embedded M2M application development including an operating system, a large set of libraries and a powerful development tool.
XLink then extended the capabilities of their communication device by connecting it to the Sierra Wireless AirVantage® Services Platform, in partnership with the Sierra Wireless local distributor, Trinity Telecoms, which hosts the AirVantage platform in South Africa.
Having received an overwhelmingly positive response from large retail chains, petrol stations and mall outlets, XLink rolled out a complete service offering with local technical support, call centers for addressing immediate problems, and field support teams across the country to manage their extensive customer network.
Using the Sierra Wireless embedded modules, XLink was able to deliver fast and reliable electronic funds transfer from credit card terminals to banks across South Africa, including rural areas which previously didn’t have access to electronic payment facilities.
Sierra Wireless provided additional benefits to XLink through the provision of the Open AT Framework. Through this embedded application framework, XLink was provided access to a range of readily available building blocks which helped accelerate the development and launch of its financial service products. This helped XLink stay ahead of its competition and reduced the total cost of developing its devices.
XLink is taking its service offering a step further with the AirVantage Services Platform, enabling customers to proactively monitor their payment devices and quickly take action if required. AirVantage is secure cloud-platform that enables XLink to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate M2M applications. With AirVantage, XLink can build connected device applications controlled from a single user interface, uniting all elements of the M2M ecosystem – connected hardware, software and network services.
Hymie Marnewick, at XLink commented: “Sierra Wireless has provided us with just the sort of monitoring control we need to guarantee uptime for our customers. Its robust wireless modules have also allowed us to deploy systems into areas which previously could not benefit from e-payment, allowing our customers to grow their services while helping in the wider development of the South African banking industry.”
With its unique offering, XLink is poised to use the competencies and technology experience it has gained from its experience with connected credit card machines in other vertical and geographical markets, and to continue to expand its business. To find out more about Sierra Wireless Sales and Payment Solutions, please visit sierrawireless.com/sales_payment