VeriFone CEO Paul Galant says he is reorganizing the terminal makers fragmented research and development process and improving its cost structure in an effort to repair the company.
Galant became VeriFones CEO and a member of its board of directors in October as a replacement to longtime CEO Doug Bergeron, who left the company in March of 2013. Galant took over a company dealing with issues that included deteriorating customer relationships and heightened competitive pressures.
Galant is working to overcome self-inflicted wounds from late certifications, shipments and product launches and fix our foundation, he said in a recent presentation at the Barclays Emerging Payments Conference.
It will be important for VeriFone to globalize its payments-as-a-service offering because the company sees no need for it to look different in northern Europe than it does in Mexico or Israel, Galant says. VeriFone should also focus on providing merchants with terminals that enable loyalty programs, coupons, targeted offers and currency conversions, he says.
We are very realistic about having to invest in the growth of this company, having to make sure our clients get product on time, every time, with high quality in the markets that they need and that the product is certified, Galant says.
VeriFones CEO is showing wisdom in choosing to discuss the companys problems bluntly, says James Wester, research director for global payments at IDC Financial Insights, in an interview.
Paul Galant is an incredibly sharp guy and this is more than just noise, Wester says. VeriFone is really going to make these changes.
Like any large company, VeriFone slipped into some bad business practices with little concern about competitors, Wester says.
This is a company that probably could have done quite well for a really long period of time just shipping to very large clients, but then you suddenly turn around and realize your market share has eroded, says
VeriFones latest line of terminals shows that they know what they are doing in staying in the forefront of developing payments technology, Wester maintains.
Board member Richard McGinn served as interim before the company hired Galant from Citigroup.
During that time, McGinn acknowledged that VeriFones troubles ran deep, calling his conversations with customers an eye-opening experience in which they were brutally honest about our lack of partnership.
McGinn expressed confidence that VeriFone could recover from its mistakes by focusing on a new generation of technology, including unattended terminals and mobile point of sale devices.
The coming decade will be the most important for the payments industry that any of us have ever lived through, Galant says.
Bergeron left VeriFone amid disclosures that the comapany had engaged in prohibited business dealings with Iran through a third-party distributor. In September 2013, Bergeron became CEO of Opus Global Holdings, a company that seeks acquisitions in the payments and financial technology sectors. He reportedly invested $50 million in Opus. n