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Emerging Payments

VeriFone Adds EMV to Its Sail Mobile Card Reader

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In an effort to better serve its overseas customers, VeriFone has begun rolling out a version of its mobile payments system, Sail, that accepts EMV-chip cards.

The new system, the point of sale terminal maker says, is designed for the banks and acquirers in more than 100 countries where the EMV standard is used to improve security over magnetic-stripe cards.

VeriFone designed Sail to have an open developer portal that allows programmers to better integrate the dongle to existing point of sale systems and payment terminals. Like Square’s reader, VeriFone’s Sail plugs into smartphones and other mobile devices to allow them to accept card payments.

The announcement is VeriFone’s latest push into mobile payments. Earlier this week, VeriFone said it’s working with POS software maker Fujitsu to resell its GlobalBay technology. That service connects tablets and other mobile devices to a big-box retailer system that can then track customer loyalty and facilitate payments, among other functions.

“Mobility in general is increasing our total addressable market,” says VeriFone chief executive Doug Bergeron, in an email. “It’s that simple.”

Indeed, VeriFone’s ability to grow in the future depends on it being able to support a shift to mobile payments, says Wedbush analyst Gil B. Luria.

“That means much of their incremental investment is likely to be spent on creating more products that facilitate mobile payments,” he says.

Bergeron added that, as of today, the EMV version of Sail is available in the U.S. though there isn’t much demand for it domestically.

It’s “a must-have outside of the USA,” says Bergeron. “It’s not surprising we are first to market, as we spend $150 million a year keeping 85 countries EMV-compliant.”

Still, there are other Square-competitors outside of the U.S. that are doing the same thing.

For instance, mPowa, a British company that is marketing its own Square-competitor, offers a mobile reader that accepts cards on the EMV standard.

And iZettle, a Swedish company with similar technology, is working with banks in Europe.

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