VeriFone recently revealed its play for the next gen of mobile payments, to compete with the likes of Square--it's an iPhone-compatible Sail dongle, which comes with an impressive software ecosystem. The company has just announced that it's made Sail compatible with Android devices, which makes excellent sense given that Android smartphones lumped together do make up a market majority for smartphones. But it's also making Sail more powerful by offering in-app one-click ordering of a VeriFone countertop hardware unit for a $100 and $15 monthly rental. By printing out paper receipts and helping Sail devices track sales it effectively turns connected handsets, which can process credit card payments, into miniature cash registers. This is especially useful as Sail allows differential login levels so several floor staff could operate the devices to process payments, but only a manager can access analytics and account information.
VeriFone's VP of SMB Commerce Brian Hamilton spoke to Fast Company to explain the move, and noted that it was very much in reaction to customer queries--Android-owning small and medium business owners really do seem to want to get in on the new mobile payments opportunity. He also confirmed that VeriFone is taking Sail seriously, and that it has also taken queries from "first tier" hardware/software manufacturers interested in the technology inside Sail (note that earlier VeriFone intimations pointed in the direction of NFC and smartphone makers). Hamilton also reminded us that VeriFone operates in at least 40 countries overseas--indeed it's the biggest vendor of credit card processing systems in the world.
VeriFone recently partnered with PayPal to bring PayPal's own effort at mobile payment evolution to some big name retailers in the U.S.
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