With the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show kicking off Monday in New York City, a number of payments companies tried to get a head start on the show by releasing news over the weekend. Much of it concerns developments for the physical point of sale. Here’s a wrap-up of the salient announcements:
VeriFone Systems Inc. said it is acquiring point-of-sale middleware vendor AJB Software Design Inc. in a deal expected to close in the second quarter. Roughly 150 large U.S. and Canadian retailers use AJB\’s switch to link POS devices to back-end processors and applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Toronto-based AJB has been a key player for in-store mobile payments for a number of years. One of the functions of its switching software is to link retail POS systems to back-end corporate systems. In 2013, AJB announced a collaboration with Transaction Network Services to integrate TNSPayDirect, which allows AJB client merchants to process EMV chip cards and transactions relying on near-field communication (NFC) technology, such as some mobile payments.
Earlier, AJB played a critical role in helping PayPal Holdings Inc., which was then part of eBay Inc., bring its payments service to the physical point of sale. At the time, these transactions relied on a physical PayPal card or on a customer’s entry of a PIN and a mobile number on the POS terminal. Among the first retailers to trial and then roll out the service was The Home Depot Inc.
In other NRF news, terminal maker Ingenico Group announced a partner program aimed at accelerating EMV chip card and NFC payments at unattended points of sale, such as parking systems, kiosks, high-end vending units, and public transportation. Fifteen companies are among the first group of partners, including CreditCall, FreedomPay, IBM Commercial Services, Scan Source, and TrustCommerce.
Ingenico also said its U.S. revenue increased 54% in 2015, at least in part on the strength of sales to major clients including Crate & Barrel, Staples, Men’s Warehouse, Cabela’s, and the grocery chain Schnucks. The growth catapulted the U.S. into the leading position among the French terminal company’s worldwide markets.
And computer-hardware maker HP Inc. unveiled its HP RP9 Retail System, a POS system with integrated peripherals that work with Intel Corp.’s Data Protection Technology for Transactions (DPT). DPT provides end-to-end encryption of both payment and non-payment data related to customers’ transactions.
HP recently introduced a trio of tablets for the point of sale, including the HP Pro Tablet Mobile Payment Solution.