VeriFone history

Public Company
Incorporated: 1981
Employees: 2, 800
Sales: $387 million (1995)
Stock Exchanges: New York
SICs: 3578 Calculating Machines Except Computers

Company Perspectives:

VeriFone's Mission Is To Create and Lead the Transaction Automation Industry Worldwide.

Company History:

VeriFone, Inc. has long dominated the market for electronic point-of-sale (POS) transaction systems-those little gray boxes found on sales counters everywhere used for authorizing credit card purchases. Since the late 1980s, VeriFone has held more than 60 percent of the U.S. market, and during the 1990s the company captured more than half of the international market for such systems. VeriFone manufactures the devices, which are actually small computers with their own processors, memory, and display, and develops the software to drive their application. The company does not sell directly to merchants; instead, VeriFone markets its products to banks and other financial institutions, which then place them on their customers' retail counters. In 1996, the company placed its five millionth system. Domestic and international sales of POS systems continue to form the majority of VeriFone's annual sales, which hit $387 million in 1995 and were expected to top $500 million in subsequent years.

But POS systems are only part of VeriFone's future. With the increasing saturation of the domestic POS market, the company has turned its attention to emerging markets to fuel its future growth. If VeriFone has its way, "transaction automation, " as the company calls its industry, will become increasingly less reliant on physical products and instead turn to a virtual realm where cash will become obsolete. VeriFone has been at the forefront of this transition, shifting its own emphasis from manufacturing hardware to designing complete software solutions. Toward this end, the company has focused on two primary areas: the "smart" card and the Internet.

Smart cards replace the magnetic stripe of typical credit cards with tiny processors. The chips, which may contain as much as one megabyte of RAM, can be encoded with a variety of information, such as the amount of money available to the cardholder. Purchases made using a smart card are automatically deducted from the holder's account. Transactions are immediate, require no authorization, and thus enable the card to be used in low denomination purchases that would be too expensive or time-consuming with the typical credit or debit card. In addition, smart cards can be encoded with much more information, including a person's health insurance information, as well as that person's various credit card accounts.

VeriFone dividend history

Verifone x570

Verifone FCI box

Verifone New York

VeriFone stock