Visa and Verifone hope to reach merchants that are anxious to follow the shopping experience as consumers make purchases through a combination of apps, websites and in-store visits.
The card network's CyberSource subsidiary will connect its payment management platform to Verifone's point of sale gateway to provide a single platform for data security, fraud prevention and integrated digital and offline payments. The companies hope to provide a catalyst for integrated online and offline shopping, a trend that has gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of years but has been slow to take hold among consumers, according to CyberSource.
"The adoption of true omni commerce has lagged expectations," said Andre Machicao, a senior vice president and CyberSource. This stems from a lack of integration between stores' point of sale and online systems, he said.
"Brining those domains together in an integrated way will make it a major step forward," he said.
CyberSource and Verifone will also offer a dashboard that tracks customer activity in different channels to inform merchant services beyond payments and fulfillment.
The specific services will include cross-channel payments, centralized transaction reporting, and the use of CyberSource's Decision Manager fraud detection system. The service will leverage Verifone's architecture to mitigate data breach exposure and deliver new technology to the point of sale. The companies did not disclose the cost of the integrated product, which will be available in September.
"We can enable merchants that work with both of our companies to offer a real 'omni-channel' payments solution," said Vin D'Agostino, executive vice president of commerce enablement for Verifone, who said the goal is to enable use cases such as shopping in a store but having merchandise delivered from online inventory. "Merchants often have to use two different systems to manage these activities."
There is a lot of fragmentation in the cross-channel merchant services market, D'Agostino said, adding that further challenges stem from the number of acquirers that are required for international sales. Verifone and CyberSource are relying on their scale to address those problems. "We can provide merchants with more choices and flexibility," D'Agostino said.
Verifone and CyberSource are attempting to differentiate themselves by targeting a different type of merchant. Most of the mobile point of sale vendors are looking to integrate with the type of technology small merchants use, such as QuickBooks or e-commerce tools, said Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst and consultant for Double Diamond Payments Group.
"They are small merchant offerings, while the Verifone and CyberSource integration is for large merchants," he said.
Verifone and CyberSource serve many of the same merchants with products that are complementary rather than competitive, Oglesby said.
"By integrating their platforms they can simulate having a single provider that supports both, allowing the data to be consolidated together into a single environment, streamlining merchant setups, and most likely providing synergies on sales and marketing efforts," Oglesby said.