VeriFone doesn't mind long check-out lines, but it does try to make them move faster. The company is a leading supplier of electronic payment hardware and software for merchant-operated, consumer-facing, and self-service payment systems. Its products include point-of-sale (POS) software and terminals, smart card and check readers, receipt printers, and Internet commerce software. It also provides installation, training, and other services. Customers include government agencies, as well as companies in the hospitality, retail, and healthcare markets, among others. VeriFone generates nearly three-fourths of its sales outside the US.
The US is VeriFone's largest market, accounting for about a quarter of sales. Brazil, where the electronic payment card industry is quickly growing, contributes slightly more than 10% of sales.
Sales and Marketing
With clients ranging from small merchants to government-sponsored payment processors, VeriFone augments its direct sales force with a network of distributors, resellers, and systems integrators. Brazilian credit and debit card firm Cielo accounts for 12% of the company's international sales; electronic data processor First Data accounts for 13% of its domestic sales.
Fast-growing VeriFone has seen sales almost double in just the past three years. It reported $1.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012 (ended October), up 43% year-over-year. The company's results have been powered almost completely by acquisitions, which added more than $400 million in sales in 2012. The acquisitions have particularly impacted international revenue, which grew more than 60% from 2011 to 2012.
Net income, however, declined about 75% to $65 million in 2012 as those same acquisitions resulted in increased personnel-related expenses.
VeriFone has benefitted from a general trend away from cash and check transactions toward electronic credit and debit payments. In addition to credit and debit card readers, the company has developed systems that handle radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards, mobile phone transactions, gift cards, electronic bill payments, signature capture, and benefits transfers.
VeriFone provides customized systems that address the specific needs of select markets, including financial services, government, health care, multi-lane retail, and petroleum. Providing pay-at-the-pump functionality to petroleum retailers is an example of such specialization. The expansion of other payment applications, including pay-at-the-table systems for restaurants, is part of the company's growth strategy. The spread of wireless infrastructure has also helped the company, as it creates applications for electronic payments in new areas such as vending machines and taxis.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company uses acquisitions to build-out its product and technology portfolio while pushing into new geographies. In a 2011 purchase that changed the landscape of the electronic payments systems industry, VeriFone purchased key rival Hypercom in an all-stock transaction valued at around $485 million, including assumed debt. The deal gave VeriFone expanded geographic coverage in a number of key European markets, where Hypercom has an established presence. The transaction also strengthened VeriFone's position against its biggest remaining rival, France-based Ingenico. The company further expanded its European operations with the acquisition in early 2012 of Point, which provides payment and gateway services for the retail sector in more than 10 European countries.
As part of its effort to build its presence in other geographies, VeriFone bought Destiny Electronic Commerce, a provider of secure payment technologies and services based in South Africa, in 2011. VeriFone expanded into South Korea the previous year when it acquired the assets of payment systems maker Orange Logic. The company renamed the business VeriFone Korea, which continues to manufacture Orange Logic's products, as well as support VeriFone's new VX Evolution product line.
In the US the company acquired LIFT Retail Marketing Technology in 2012 to expand its line of products for convenience store and gas station operators in North America, in particular. LIFT's networked digital marketing hub integrates with retail (POS) systems to provide targeted marketing to individual shoppers by presenting them with digital ads on a touchscreen. The product complements VeriFone's Secure PumpPAY product.
Australian investment bank Macquarie Group owns about 13% of VeriFone.