I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re big fans of Kickstarter here at iDB. And it seems that Kickstarter project creators like us, too. Apparently, thanks to iDB, a few thousand dollars have been raised for various Kickstarter projects, and we’re pretty proud of that.
Today, we sit down with Keith White and talk to him about Trak, a mobile credit card reader for iPhone and iPad he intends to launch with a little help from Kickstarter.
In just a few words, what is Trak?
Trak is the next-generation mobile POS credit card reader device and app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Trak reader is ultra thin and small enough to fit into your pocket. It’s pretty sleek-looking too.
How did you get the idea of Trak and why did you start this project?
In September 2010, I developed a multimedia mobile entertainment content platform to help Sony Music monetize its large digital music catalogue on a mobile carrier’s 3G wireless network in Latin America. During that period, a lot of industry buzz and hype was around mobile payments, especially near-field communications (NFC). I liked the Square business model better and saw market opportunities Square was not addressing. So I decided to create Trak to address the void.
Do you have a background in product design?
No, I do not have a background in electronic product design, but I have a good sense of really good designs and I have a great team of designers around me. Not to mention I oversaw the website design and development of one major video portal in 2008.
Who is helping you out with this project?
I have a group of advisers and consultants: electrical engineers, hardware engineers, software engineers, product designers, eCommerce, card payment experts, a VP of business development, marketing and others. We are still in stealth mode and there are many things I have to hold close to my vest.
Your goal is to raise $20,000. How do you expect to get there?
Yes, $20,000 is the minimum goal. The goal will be reached by individual consumers and readers pre-ordering and making a pledge on our Kickstarter page. Pledges start at $5, and for as little $25, $50 or more, backers will receive the Trak reader first edition before public launch. We think it’s the coolest-looking and aerodynamic card reader on the market.
How different is Trak from similar products like Square?
Square’s reader is unencrypted, meaning it lacks security in the reader or at the card swiping level to protect customer’s card data from theft and tampering. Lacking this security at the reader level can expose the customer’s card and merchant’s data to risk. Trak has encryption at the card reader level to fight fraud and card data theft.
Square charges a 2.75% per swipe transaction fee. Trak swipe fee is 2.5%. Trak offers an ambient sensor light to alert the merchant when the card has been swipe successfully, Square does not.
Trak connects through the 30-pin connector slot at the bottom of your iPhone and iPad. Square connects through your headphone jack and you have to have the volume on the phone set to high or the Square reader want transmit the signal for the transaction to the device.
Often times you have to swipe the Square reader multiple times for the card to be read successfully. Trak does not have this problem. There are other attractive features that I can share with you at a later date.
When will Trak enter production?
I can only say that we expect to launch in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2012. Anyone can participate in our early beta test by going to our Kickstater page and there is a pledge level for beta testers.
How much will it cost?
The first edition of the Trak reader can be pre-ordered now for $25 on Kickstarter and the app will be free.
Where will we be able to buy a Trak?
Trak will be offered online at our www.TrakNow.com web site. We have not launched the site yet, as we are still in stealth mode and will have many more details and goodies to reveal at a later date. We are also talking with a few national retailers about Trak being sold through their stores. More information to be announced about this at a later date.
As Keith mentioned above, pledges start at $5 and go all the way to $250. Those of you who decide to invest in this project will receive the first version of the Track reader once its made available. Please make sure to visit Trak’s Kickstarter page for more information.