New POS Terminal Stats Keep Ingenico, Verifone and Hypercom On Top

Written by Evan Schuman
October 8th, 2009

Payment card authorization terminal shipments jumped almost 9 percent last year, to 13.9 million units from 12.8 million in 2007, according to new figures compiled by The Nilson Report. It’s also a market that remains dominated by a handful of vendors, with the top half-dozen vendors—Ingenico, Verifone, Hypercom, SZZT Electronics, CyberNet and Castles Technology—controlling 85 percent of the market last year, which was virtually the same amount they controlled in 2007.

The report saw the overwhelming portion of the growth happening outside the U.S. and Canada. Indeed, shipments to both countries actually declined last year, according to the report. “The U.S. received 2.4 million units, down 2.8 percent or 71,382 units. Its market share of 17.6 percent was down from 19.7 percent. Canada received 273,638 units, down 16,313 units or 5.6 percent. Its market share was 2.0 percent, down from 2.3 percent,” the report said. “The Asia/Pacific region had the highest increase in number of units shipped, up 559,843 terminals to 3.6 million, an increase of 18.1 percent. Its market share grew to 26.3 percent from 24.2 percent. Europe received the most new POS terminals in 2008: 4.5 million units, up 5.7 percent or 241,626 units more than 2007. However, its market share of 32.2 percent was down from 33.1 percent.”


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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