Client-server Eftpos terminals promise easy retail upgrades

New Eftpos terminals will soon make it easier for retailers to load and store software necessary for smartcard, stored-value card and loyalty scheme applications. The ICE terminals by Hypercom Data System will operate under a client-server model as opposed to current Eftpos terminals which are capable of holding a limited amount of software and have to be upgraded individually. They should overcome the problem of going around each terminal and to install new software.

New Eftpos terminals will soon make it easier for retailers to load and store software necessary for smartcard, stored-value card and loyalty scheme applications.

The ICE terminals by Hypercom Data System will operate under a client-server model as opposed to current Eftpos terminals which are capable of holding a limited amount of software and have to be upgraded individually.

Keith Davis, general manager of Hyper-com distributor the Advantage Group, says the new terminals would overcome the problem of going around each terminal and to install new software.

“With the new terminals all software changes will be done at the server, which will be a normal PC server.” Davis says Advantage has included the SET (secure electronic transaction) protocols in software for the new ICE terminals, due early next year.

With more than 46,000 terminals throughout the country, New Zealand has the highest incidence of Eftpos terminals in the world — one for every 78 people. Advantage holds about 65% of the market, while the other major player in New Zealand is Verifone, bought by HP in June.

In addition to distributing the terminals Advantage will develop application software to run on them and will increase its 15-strong team of developers.

“Loyalty schemes and non-financial transactions are run across a parallel network to the ANZ and ETSL financial transaction networks. We want to drive that non-financial part of the business as well.”

The Auckland-based company, which has just restructured, has already developed the software for the Fly Buys scheme and a system for the Bank of New Zealand to do credit card authorisation over the Internet.

According to the New Zealand Banker’s Association, more than 200 million transactions were made through Eftpos terminals last year, and Eftpos usage continues to increase — accounting for nearly one fifth of all non-cash payments. Meanwhile cheque usage, the most popular non-cash payment method, is declining by about 9% per

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