There are over a dozen card machine brands available globally, but most are either specialty machines or offered by small brands. For example, Clover, Square, and PayPal Here. Despite the wide availability of brands, most card machines available in the UK and the rest of the world are manufactured by three primary manufacturers, Pax, Verifone, and Ingenico (closely followed by Hypercom).
For example, Ingenico card machines are sold by nearly every merchant account solution in the UK. WorldPay and First Data both offer rebranded Ingenico PDQ machines. Verifone card machines are also widely available through nearly every merchant service, with many offering 6 or more models from one brand. While this near-monopoly limits consumer options, big-brands like Verifone and Ingenico invest heavily into development, redefining the payment industry with new standards and technology.
Pax was founded in 2000, and has now installed over 20 million terminals globally. The company operates out of Jacksonville Florida, in the United States. Pax supports 100+ countries and operates as the providing manufacturer for the Bank of China with a 30% + market share of all card terminals in China.
While the smallest of the top 3, Pax also remains at the forefront of card terminal technology, unveiling the world’s first Android Smart Terminal in 2016 (the Pax A920). Pax card terminals, including tablet-based and smart PDQ machines, are increasingly available in the UK, although Pax has only recently begun to enter the market.
Verifone was founded in 1981 in Hawaii, the United States, and has since expanded to a global reach of 150 countries with 2016 earnings in excess of £1.3 billion. The payment technology companies offers a combination of point of sale and card payments, with a range of devices including remote and unmanned solutions alongside traditional in-store point of sale. Verifone’s devices accept all transaction types, and the company is heavily involved and invested in security and standards.
Verifone also heavily invests in growth and new technology, including direct research into mobile commerce, security, payment services, and emerging global markets. The company is one of the only technology representatives on the PCI Security Standards Council, works with the UK Cards Council, and is a Nexco member, an organisation working to bring all card and terminal security standards together. Verifone also significantly researches consumers and consumer behaviour to develop new technologies and provide guidance to merchant users.
Ingenico is a French payment terminal manufacturer founded in 1980. The company now operates over 30 million terminals in 170 countries and owns part or all of major card processing companies including AirLink, IECISA, Ogone, Tunz, and more.
Ingenico has come to dominate the market, earning over £2 billion in 2016 and is the largest terminal manufacturer in the world. But, with payment gateway solutions and devices supporting omnichannel sales, plus cutting-edge technology and payment solutions, Ingenico is also one of the fastest moving and growing payment terminal manufacturers.
Developing International Payment Industry Standards
Each of the top 3 card manufacturers are heavily invested in new technology, security, and branching into new payment solutions. For example, Verifone and Ingenico worked together in 2005 to build the first organisation of terminal manufacturers for standardising equipment. Today, both art part of Nexco, and were behind the creation of new standards including ISO 20022, as well as common standard implementation and harmonisation, to ensure that new machines are compatible with each other. Nexco is just one of a number of organisations working to improve quality and security standards across the industry, as organisations and manufacturers contribute towards developing better, more global standards.
Verifone, Pax, and Ingenico are the largest card terminal manufacturers in the world, with yearly earnings in the billions. As a result, they are more able to stand behind long warranties and guarantees, better able to invest in new technology and software, and able to continue to invest in security standards.
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