Some Heartland Payment Systems Inc. merchants that use VeriFone Holdings Inc. equipment are being swayed to switch to other processors, claims VeriFone CEO Douglas G. Bergeron. In an interview with CardLine sister publication ISO&Agent Weekly, Bergeron says the payment-terminal maker has had "discussions with [independent sales organizations] looking for ways to gain market share." Part of those discussions have included where Heartland merchants that use VeriFone equipment should go for support in 2010. VeriFone will stop supplying support and service for VeriFone equipment through Heartland after Dec. 31, and it has pointed Heartland's competitors to a Web site that asks Heartland merchants to sign up for VeriFone equipment support, Bergeron says. But the processor has pledged to support its VeriFone-using merchants and has instructed them not to sign up for VeriFone's offer. "Heartland is communicating to [its] merchants about this situation as appropriate," a Heartland spokesperson says. Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland is in a dispute with VeriFone over the development of an advanced encryption terminal that has resulted in the companies suing each other (CardLine, 10/22). VeriFone alleges Heartland's device infringes on one of its patents. Heartland alleges that VeriFone is engaging in unfair trade practices. Both companies have issued lists of frequently asked questions for merchants that cover the origins of the dispute and what merchants should do to ensure continued equipment support in 2010.

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