February 20, 2017
By Kevin Woodward
Point-of-sale terminal maker Ingenico Group is bringing its POS app store based on its Telium Tetra operating system to the United States this year, company officials tell Digital Transactions News.
Countertop, mobile and multilane versions of Ingenico's Telium Tetra POS terminals are available.
POS apps enable merchants to load and use business software than can help with employee scheduling, manage loyalty programs, and provide other business functions, using select data from the POS terminal.
The app store, dubbed the Marketplace, works with France-based Ingenico’s Telium Tetra line, which includes the Telium Tetra operating system, countertop, mobile and multilane POS terminals, access to more than 2,500 payment applications, and a device-management service. It launched in 2014, and has been available in some international markets. Its U.S. entry was delayed by the migration to EMV acceptance. With that under way, the time is right to bring Telium to the United States, Ben Wagner, director of product solutions for Ingenico Group North America, tells Digital Transactions News.
The Telium Tetra components are going through certification programs with all acquirers now, Wagner says. Once the certifications are complete, the devices will be available to independent sales organizations, acquirers, and POS-equipment distributors to offer to merchants, he says.
The Telium Tetra operating system separates the payments application from the operational ones, Wagner says. There is a secure connection between the two to enable the operational app to retrieve the transaction amount to calculate rewards points, for example. But the payment app is wholly controlled by the payments provider and is maintained by it and Ingenico.
Telium Tetra has services for the portfolio manager, such as the ISO or acquirer; a developer program; and the Marketplace for merchants to select apps.
For payments providers, the service enables them to manage which devices are eligible for Marketplace apps and to push other software updates to them.
The developer program includes access to necessary software to integrate business apps into the Ingenico Telium Tetra devices. Developers submit their apps to a publishing portal where they can retrieve usage analytics, he says. Currently, approximately 150 developers participate in the program, he adds.
While some POS software providers use their own branded app store, Ingenico enables payments providers to white-label the Telium Tetra Marketplace, Wagner says. “The estate owner can segment which apps are available to different groups of merchants based on different criteria, like an industry code, ZIP code, or state,” Wagner says.
“What we’re going to end up seeing is a staple set of standard apps,” he says, ones like employee scheduling, that the app developer will try to get into as many app stores as possible. “We will start to see different estate owners building their own app stores that are more exclusive.”
Ingenico has not yet settled on a pricing model for the U.S. version of the white-labeled Marketplace, Wagner says. In Europe, a monthly fee based on the number of active merchants is used. “We are exploring our options here.”
The POS app store concept has caught fire among merchant providers, for a number of reasons. One is the need to compete against cloud-based POS software providers and the other is the potential to aid merchant-attrition efforts.
Though Ingenico-specific data on merchant-attrition rates is not yet available, Wagner says the app store is a way to differentiate when selling a commodity product like credit and debit card processing services.
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