Payment Authorization Terminal Sales Soar Worldwide

As retailers across the globe modernize, the installed base of payment authorization terminals has soared almost 22 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to a report in this week's Nilson Report, a well-respected newsletter covering payment issues.

The report said that some two-dozen terminal vendors shipped 11.9 million units worldwide in 2007, a 21.8 percent increase from the 9.8 million in 2006. The report said it's figures were limited to "stand- alone types or (terminals) connected to electronic cash registers or to PC-based systems. Figures do not include newly manufactured ECRs, the PC-based systems themselves, unattended card readers at gas stations and PIN pads."

As happens typically in a growth segment such as authorization terminals, vendor consolidation has concentrated control—and, therefore, retail purchase options—in far fewer hands. Nilson reported that the top six vendors last year controlled 85.7 percent of all terminal shipments, an increase from 79.3 percent in 2006.

The top 10 were France's Ingenico with 3.8 million shipments (a 73 percent increase), the U.S.'s VeriFone with 3.6 million shipments (a 16 percent increase), the U.S.'s Hypercom with 1.8 million shipments (an 86 percent increase), South Korea's CyberNet with 534,000 shipments (a 17 percent increase), France's Gemalto with 372,000 shipments (a 26 percent increase), Japan's Panasonic with 185,000 shipments (a 62 percent increase), Hong Kong's Pax Tech with 171,000 shipments (a 67 percent increase), South Korea's Bitel with 146,000 units shipped (an 11 percent increase), China's Fujian Landi with 128,000 units shipped (a 106 percent increased) and China's SZZT Electronics with 126,000 units shipped (a 33 percent increase).

The vendors suffering the biggest decreases in sales, according to the report, were on the lower end of sales. Obviously, a 1 percent increase from a significantly smaller total number of units shipped can be a lot less meaningful than it would be for those firms with a larger marketshare.

That said, Italy's DA Networks suffered a 66 percent loss (with 53,000 units shipped), Belgium's Intellect took a 54 percent hit on 56,000 units shipped, the U.S.'s MaxID suffered a 35 percent loss (on what the report said was sales of only 41 units in 2007), South Korea's Hanchang dropped 30 percent on 66,000 units shipped, Japan's Toshiba TEC suffered a 26 percent loss on 15,300 units shipped and China's Fujian Newland swallowed a 9 percent fall on 17,000 shipped units.