Business mobile terminals: a safe, inclusive and versatile alternative

By Anais Masetti - 14 September 2020

From payment terminals to business apps and QR scanners, the modern field workforce is nowadays enabled by a variety of devices and technologies. While the digitalisation of work has brought its fair share of benefits in terms of gained efficiency, it has also created new challenges. 

Cyberattacks, app misuse, deployment complexity, device theft…these are but a few of the issues that are commonly faced by companies with field employees who are reliant on mobile devices. A recent global survey of security professionals found that 2 out of 10 companies have already experienced a mobile cyberattack and over 33% of companies fail to adequately secure mobile devices.

Moreover, the use of various applications and devices in the workplace can generate pools of unconsolidated data, creating a risk for valuable insights to go unnoticed. 

Early Metrics has rated a high-growth startup which is trying to tackle all these challenges. Below we present how Paris-based Famoco has been taking the world by storm with its B2B mobile terminals.

Professionals devices for the mobile workforce

Famoco develops secure mobile terminals and a SaaS platform to manage them remotely.

Similar to smartphones, the terminals are mainly used to accept transactions by contactless card, QR code, biometrics and facial recognition. Alternatively, they can be used to validate a person’s identity or certain documents, such as transport tickets and vouchers. 

Famoco has also designed an Android operating system that guarantees the security of the data collected. Additional safety features include the fact that the devices hold no resale value (which lowers the risk of theft) and their location can be tracked on the platform (which decreases the chances of losing them). The apps on the mobile terminals are limited as well, to avoid misusage.

The startups’ devices are relevant for a variety of sectors and activities including urban transport networks, telco, retail shops, care workers, event organisation, facility managers and more.

The rating process showed the startup has very strong growth potential as it placed in the top 1% of over 3000 rated startups, in February 2020. Despite operating in a highly competitive market with both newcomers and incumbents (Wizway Solutions, Actoll, T-Smart…), the comprehensiveness of Famoco’s offering gives it a definite edge. While its technology is not unique, the startup has managed to produce a scalable product and business model which has led to a rapid team-growth and internationalization of its activities.

Far more coming for Famoco?

Famoco seems to have a bright future ahead as it has been building a strong commercial and partnership track record, counting large companies like Orange and Alipay among its collaborators. 

A particularly interesting use case of Famoco’s solutions is the digitisation of the UN’s World Food Programme which allows for the scanning of food vouchers in the form of NFC cards as well as accurate and safe tracking of the participants’ health check ups. The startup states that by “reducing information silos and paperwork, yearly monitoring costs have dropped by 74%. This means resources can be used to increase the number of people covered by the programme by 17%, raise awareness and reduce levels of malnutrition amongst vulnerable communities.”

Moreover, earlier this year Famoco reached two major milestones: it totaled over 250,000 distributed terminals around the world and raised 20 million euros from the European Investment Bank. This funding tops up a previous 25 million euro round and allows the startup to further expand its activities in Africa, with a focus on bringing solutions for financial inclusion. Already present in 38 African countries, the startup hopes to make an impact on the financial wellbeing of impoverished communities by facilitating the access to alternative payment methods.

In just a few years, Famoco has been quietly but surely taking its fair share of the global payments and B2B terminals markets. While we maintain an independent stance on all rated startups, we can’t help but be impressed by the versatility of its products and the positive social impact that the startup has had. As its ambitions and international presence grows, it will be interesting to see how Famoco will face the competition from giants of the likes of Ingenico and Verifone.

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