VeriFone Shifting Mobile Payments Strategy to Resales

VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY), the largest maker of credit-card terminals, is moving away from competing directly with Square Inc. in mobile payments, according to David Talach, VeriFone’s vice president of industry engagement.

Instead of promoting its SAIL attachment, which lets smartphones accept debit and credit card payments, to merchants, VeriFone will offer the tool to banks for them to resell to their business customers. VeriFone said today that some assets related to SAIL will be divested and that it’s “exploring opportunities with potential third parties.”

San Jose, California-based Verifone introduced its SAIL brand earlier this year, challenging Square, EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s PayPal and other providers in a market expected to grow to $1 billion in 2016 from $30 million last year, according to Aite Group LLC. Given the lack of robust growth, selling through financial institutions makes more sense, Talach said.

“We had good uptake, but I wouldn’t say it blew our socks off,” Talach said. “We are morphing SAIL, pivoting to a channel alliance strategy.”

VeriFone will continue to add new features to SAIL, and will not stop offering it to merchants directly, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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