Mobile payments deemed 'fundamentally unprofitable'
Payment processor VeriFone is withdrawing from the mobile card payments market, citing "razor-thin margins." The decision to shutter Square-competitor Sail came to light during a quarterly conference call, with CEO Doug Bergeron calling the market for low-volume merchant processing as "fundamentally unprofitable."
VeriFone to bring out SAIL card reader to defend against Square
VeriFone will release a new card reader that plugs into the iPhone or iPad's 3.5mm headphone input to process payments. A step up from its PayWare solution for hardware, the new device, called SAIL, will be very close to Square's hardware. VeriFone already makes card payment hardware for larger businesses and stores, and is trying to protect this client base from smaller up and comers like Square, BusinessInsider reported.
Square upgrades readers with hardware encryption
Square readers have just been upgraded to offer hardware encryption, VentureBeat found. The company is planning on upgrading existing readers without hardware encryption to the new ones. The new security measure will encrypt credit card numbers as they are sent from the reader to the app on the mobile device, keeping it secure even before it needs to go online.
PayPal may clash directly with Square hardware
PayPal's mobile payment technology may lead to a direct competitor to Square. leaks emerging from GigaOM would have a plug-in reader to let a smartphone, and presumably a tablet, take credit cards through a native app. Other than a possible triangle shape, not much was known about what it would entail besides a launch on Thursday.
Isis partners with payment hardware makers
Isis, which is due to kick off this summer, has now secured cash register and payment hardware makers VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech, and Equinox Payments as partners. They have vowed to integrate the Isis Mobile Commerce Application wireless payments technology into their future products. Isis will use NFC technology for payments, digital couponing, location-based social media offers, and more. It's a competitor for Google's Wallet offering.
Square approved to test payment gear in NYC cabs
Square readers for payments will be used in a few weeks during a testing project in New York City in 30 taxis before becoming more widespread. The test is part of the requirements that need to be met after the New York City Taxi and Limousine
Commission approved Square's systems in cabs. Once testing is completed, there are plans to deploy the technology in over 13,000 cabs in the city.
VeriFone PayWare for Tablets chases Square
VeriFone partly bowed to pressure on Wednesday with the introduction of PayWare Mobile Enterprise for Tablets. The option will give iPads, as well as Android 3 tablets, a hardware card reader and app combination that can serve as a store checkout much like Square's eponymous readers. The VeriFone option claims an edge with PIN-based debit cards and support for NFC devices that can tap to make a payment, such as a Nexus S 4G using Google Wallet.
We cover Google's mobile wallet event in NYC
Google is holding an event in New York City where it's expected to unveil an NFC-based mobile payment system. The service should involve at least Android phones from Sprint, an infrastructure from VeriFone, as well as several major stores. Check in for live coverage at 12PM Eastern.
Google NFC service unveiling with Sprint soon
(Update: first stores) Google's rumored NFC-based payment system will be unveiled Thursday, three insiders leaked on Tuesday. The system would let those with a Nexus S 4G on Sprint use their devices to both buy goods and use coupons by waving the phone at a VeriFone-supplied terminal. Google hasn't the confirmed details provided by Bloomberg but is holding an event in New York City on Thursday that will likely discuss the NFC plans.
Justice fears competition in POS market at risk
The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit seeking to block Verifone from gobbling up rival point-of-sale (POS) credit card information equipment vendor Hypercom. According to DOJ, the market is very concentrated. Verifone holds a 48 percent share of the US market, Hypercom, a 18 percent share, and French-based Ingenico 26 percent. Verifone had planned to sell off Hypercom's US operation to Ingenico, hoping that would pave the way for Governmental approval. However, the Justice department saw things differently.
Google, Ingenico team up on NFC gear, software
Ingenico, a French maker of digital payment terminals for retailers, has recently announced it will partner with Google on bringing Near Field Communications (NFC) applications and terminals for retailers. At the same time, Ingenico's CEO Phillippe Lazare said Google can deliver coupons to a phone using the NFC standard when they simply enter a store. In some cases, users can get the discount upon checking out during that same visit.
Square reader to get encryption support
Square has quietly confirmed that a new version of its reader was coming with built-in encryption. The iOS and Android device will now have safeguards even during the swipe itself. COO Keith Rabois said the goal was to meet Visa's best practices for mobile apps, including encryption across the entire process.
Visa invests in Square to spur mobile payments
Visa in a symbolic step said it had invested in Square. The undisclosed amount will be accompanied by a Visa executive sitting on the company's advisory board. Visa representative Ryan Donovan explained the decision to the New York Times as a way of spurring credit card use by getting it to businesses that wanted to, but couldn't, take payments due to the location or cost.
Apple to carry Square readers in stores
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's Square payment readers got a major lift this weekend after Apple started officially selling them in stores. Both the online Apple Store and its retail shops are carrying the reader this week, including in a new black color. The company confirmed that it would be the only one with a payment device in Apple's shops and that Apple was coordinating with Square on in-store seminars, TechCrunch said.
Google to test NFC with Citigroup and MasterCard
Google's trials of NFC-based phone payments gained more tangible details through a leak early Monday. The plan described by the WSJ would allow Citigroup debit and MasterCard credit card owners to make payments by swiping a Nexus S, or future Android 2.3 phones with NFC, near a reader at the counter. VeriFone would still be involved, the sources said, and would be the one providing the payment machines.
Tips point to NFC in iPhone 5 Qualcomm chip, WP7
Swirling rumors of NFC in the iPhone 5 were fueled on Monday by fresh tips that also Windows Phone 7 plans. Two sources said the near-field wireless would be built into the Qualcomm cellular processor for either the 2011 update or its successor. While not mentioned by the NYT's insiders, it would most likely most a variant or successor to the MDM6600, which provides both CDMA and GSM and their matching 3G standards.
Google to trial NFC payment with VeriFone
Google is nearing a trial of an NFC (near field communication) wireless payment system of its own, tipsters claimed Tuesday. A test in New York and San Francisco would see VeriFone supply cash registers with NFC built-in so that owners of NFC-equipped phones like Google's own Nexus S could pay just by bringing the device close to the register. Bloomberg was told it might go beyond just payment to include gift cards, loyalty programs and coupons.
Square rebuts VeriFone on mobile payment security
Square founder Jack Dorsey in a letter rebuffed the claims made in VeriFone's smear attack on his Android and iOS mobile payment readers. The accusation of easy data 'skimming' was "not a fair or accurate claim" and overlooked the basic reality of credit cards. Anyone who you give a credit card already has enough to get information, and no encrypted system would stop this, Dorsey said.
VeriFone scares users from Square with skim hack
VeriFone attempted a classic "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" (FUD) campaign against Square today with a site and a video (below) claiming a major exploit in the mobile payment method. The credit card processing firm claimed that all was needed to "skim" and steal credit card data was a fake app that could use Square data but didn't actually process a payment. Since the hardware didn't encrypt the data, it could be adapted in "minutes" to systematically grab data from unsuspecting buyers, company chief Doug Bergeron claimed.