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VeriFone expects $10B in mobile payments as merchants embrace wireless solutions

VeriFone is seeing significant uptake of its mobile payments services by merchants and now expects its annual run rate to exceed $10 billion.

The $10 billion refers to all the payments expected to go through the PAYware Connect gateway in a 12-month period. PAYware Connect is cloud-based payments service that supports in-the-aisle checkout via smartphone and tablet-based payments, mobile card acceptance devices for smaller merchants and offerings that are integrated with larger merchants’ POS systems.

“Currently more than half of merchants are using this gateway solution for the mobile environment and more and more retailers are opting for multichannel payment capabilities that PAYware Connect enables,” said Paul Rasori, senior vice president of marketing at VeriFone Systems Inc., San Jose, CA.

“When it comes to card payments, consumers want to be able to pay with credit/debit whenever and wherever they need to make a purchase,” he said. “Whether that is in a home, at poolside or in the aisle of a traditional retail store, they are focused on the payment ability, not the payment device.

“However, as consumers adopt NFC wallets for their smartphones, and as retailers begin to integrate mobile POS with other features such as retailing, inventory location and other capabilities using tablets, the device does become more important.”

Extending digital payments
VeriFone is one of several competitors looking to bring mobile-enabled payments solutions to merchants. Some of the retailers using PAYware Connect for mobile payments include EMS, Guess and C. Wonder.

Verifone recently said that it will integrate and support the ISIS mobile wallet in current and future product lines (see story).

Square was the first to uncover the potential to appeal to merchants with an attachment for smart devices that processes credit card payments. VeriFone quickly followed and PayPal entered this particular area of mobile payments just last week (see story).

In November, Square said it was processing $11 million in payments per day via mobile. The company offers an attachment for smartphones and tablets that enables smaller merchants to process credit card transactions.

PayPal, which like VeriFone is a cloud-based service offering a variety of mobile-enabled ways to process transactions, recently said it expects to do $7 billion in mobile payments volume in 2012.

“Clearly, there was a market for a lot of types of merchants to take a credit card payment wireless in some way,” said Mark Beccue, senior analyst at ABI Research, New York. “Whether this is plumbers or people selling antiques at a show, it shows that there is a big market for extending digital payments.

Clear value proposition
The numbers from all three services show that merchants are looking for ways to extend how they accept and process payments to mobile devices as a way to support the relationship with customers by making checking out quicker and easier.

However, these numbers do not reflect the extent to which consumers are adopting mobile payments that do not require them to pull out a credit card and are transacted from their own phone inside a bricks-and-mortar location.

“VeriFone’s numbers look to be a mix of mobile, point-of-sale and Web payments, which makes an apple-to-apple’s comparison to competitors — especially the much-hyped Square — tough,” said Rich Karpinski, senior analyst for mobility at Yankee Group, Boston.

“Overall, though, it shows the potential for taking payments fully mobile — from in the back seat of the taxi to anywhere a smartphone can go,” he said.

“The software and add-on hardware devices enabling these mobile payment engines are easy to use. And the value proposition is clear, enabling merchants of all sorts to process payments they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to capture.”