VeriFone Systems Inc. will soon bundle payments hardware, software, security and compliance into a payments-as-a-service product called VeriFone Point.
The managed service is tied to VeriFone's acquisition early last year of a Swedish company called Point, which accepted multiple types of conventional and alternative payments.
Since VeriFone bought Point, the payments industry has become more complex with the spread of social-media payments, contactless payments, mobile payments, mobile wallets, EMV, Near Field Communication, analytics, omni-channel retailing, loyalty rewards, and coupons and other offers, says Brent Phillips, VeriFone's director of product marketing.
"There's been a lot of innovation in recent years, and there's confusion in the marketplace," he says. "Point was designed to accommodate that complexity."
The company has been testing Point with merchants, processors, independent sales organizations and independent software vendors, Phillips says. The service is expected to become widely available in October.
Many merchants and their vendors tend to set up the systems and give them little additional thought, Phillips says.
With Point, VeriFone is delivering a standard system that includes payment terminals; the Point Portal, which aggregates many of VeriFone's established services; EMV support, including updates and recertification; remote key loading; transaction services; deployment and shipping; gateway; encryption and tokenization; help desk; estate management, the ability to control and monitor devices; device warranty and repair; and NFC capability, including the Google and Isis wallets.
Another package includes those functions and data-breach insurance, another adds EMV support and priority exchange, and a third includes all functions.
VeriFone developed the combinations after consulting with potential users. VeriFone expects to add functions in later releases, Phillips says.
Software vendors may adopt parts of Point, he says.
"We want to be flexible," Phillips says. "There is a foundational bit of technology that defines Point, which is the device management, the security and the device. Beyond that, we want to make the flexibility available to third parties to use it to enhance their offering. That's what our hope is for most of the ISO community."
The system will connect with virtually all transaction processors and third-party service providers, Phillips says.
Merchants pay a fixed fee per month over the length of the contract, which differs from gateways that charge per transaction. VeriFone intends to stick with the flat-rate pricing even as it adds third-party partners, such as loyalty program providers.
VeriFone intends to push Point hardest among merchants with aging terminals ready for replacement, Phillips says.