VeriFone Systems Inc. has its GlobalBay iPad retail mobile-payment software literally rolling on the sales floors at U.S. Guess Inc. clothing and accessories stores, further establishing that the company intends to position itself as a key player in mobile payments and customer marketing.

Essentially, VeriFone continues to bridge the gap between its payment software and marketing and sales-enhancement tools, causing one industry analyst to consider the ongoing development of consumer-related software a potential bonanza for the San Jose, Calif.-based terminal maker.

In a dozen of its U.S. stores, Los Angeles-based Guess is using the VeriFone cloud-based application with Apple Inc. iPads mounted on rolling stands, making them self-service kiosks for customers to browse or purchase products online or inside the clothing store, VeriFone announced Jan. 5.

“Anything VeriFone does to position itself with mobile payments and provide consumer aids is really significant,” Brian Riley, senior research director and analyst with Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup, tells PaymentsSource.

VeriFone is “a big power and world dominator” in providing point-of-sale terminals, allowing it to operate from a position of strength as it develops mobile-payment and retail software for consumers, Riley contends.

Development of the software package for Guess and other merchant sites stems from VeriFone’s November acquisition of GlobalBay Mobile Technologies (see story).

Yet, by offering the GlobalBay software for iPads or iPod Touch devices, VeriFone essentially protects its business franchise in the consumer retail market, making it more difficult for smaller startup companies to get market footing with similar devices, Riley suggests.

In addition, VeriFone may not find other major terminal providers such as Ingenico SA or security-chip makers such as Gemalto NV trying to break into consumer retail with mobile payment or marketing devices, Riley says.

“Ingenico and Gemalto are focusing on getting the EMV chip card in place throughout the world,” he says. “But VeriFone has a lot on its plate, too.”

Guess intends to expand its use of GlobalBay software in more of its U.S. stores this year, VeriFone noted in a press release.

Besides its payment-processing capabilities, the GlobalBay software serves as a sales tool for retailers.

“Consumers can access our online resources in the store, and sales associates can roll the iPads into the dressing room to visually display options and accessories to make shopping more fulfilling and enjoyable,” Michael Relich, Guess executive vice president and chief information officer, said in the release.

A Web-based content-management console powers the GlobalBay iPad retailing application, enabling the retailer to design, brand and manage iPad applications without requiring programming skills, VeriFone stated. Besides incorporating payment and sales-tool applications, merchants using GlobalBay can create applications for training employees, the release noted.

Online connections through GlobalBay’s website application enable customers to access Web-based products and to initiate electronic-commerce transactions when required, the company stated.

“Retailers are eager to use the iPad and other mobile devices to realize the promise of multichannel selling and to engage consumers with the full breadth of their products,” Jennifer Miles, VeriFone executive vice president, North America, said in the release. “Our iPad retailing [service] provides an innovative and cost-effective means to allow retailers to deploy multiple iPad applications.”

Inside a Guess store, shoppers and store clerks use the GlobalBay iPad application to browse available clothes and accessories and to select products for purchase in the store or through an online order if the product is not onsite.

Consumers cannot swipe their credit cards through a reader on the iPad, but they can set up an online transaction, VeriFone spokesperson Pete Bartolik tells PaymentsSource. But the company intends to add a card reader for iPads in the coming weeks, he adds.

Because the GlobalBay software represents a “software-as-a-service” offering, customers essentially rent it and pay recurring fees, Bartolik notes. In addition, customers can obtain the GlobalBay offerings with or without VeriFone hardware, he adds.

Building on its Payware Mobile smartphone payment software, VeriFone plans to debut a card reader and barcode scanner for the iPad this month at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo in New York. The device would communicate with the GlobalBay mobile retail software, the company noted (see story).

In an example of how GlobalBay aids merchants outside of the store, Guess executives recently took the GlobalBay iPad kiosk on a six-week tour of Asia to demonstrate store products to buyers in that region, Bartolik says.

Other retail chains using VeriFone’s GlobalBay software with iPads include Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., C Wonder Inc., Eastern Mountain Sports Inc. and City Sports Inc., Bartolik says.

Last month, VeriFone announced it was supplying accessories manufacturer Brighton Collectibles with iPod Touch systems using GlobalBay mobile point-of-sale software (see story).

Merchants using the iPod Touch systems with GlobalBay software are able to swipe credit cards on the iPods with the Payware device, Bartolik adds.

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