Platform

Vision and Opportunity

Today’s point of sale (POS) is undergoing a profound transformation, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and infrastructure in the market, and the migration of back-office systems to the cloud. The emergence of new customer and merchant experiences is bringing about rapid changes in consumer behavior and expectations. As a result, modern payment solutions need to be able to evolve and adapt nimbly and securely to these ever-changing trends in commerce and bring value-added services that engage customers in a more meaningful fashion.

This evolution has spurred us at Verifone to rethink the consumer journey and in-store experience. Our objective is to transform the payment terminal in a manner that enables both merchants and customers to enjoy an enhanced commerce experience that goes beyond just secure payment solutions. We want to transform the point of sale to the point of relationship.


 

Introducing the Platform

Not long ago, there was no easy way for third parties to innovate at the terminal level. The process of developing and deploying an application or a service at the terminal was very cumbersome, with no standard frameworks or APIs to interact with the payment flow. As a result, developers were compelled to integrate with outdated technology that not only limited what they could do, but also restricted their reach to a small number of merchants. Additionally, for merchants, there was no single place to view and download the various apps and services they could deploy to their systems. Today, technology has made way for far more advanced and versatile payment terminals.

Verifone’s Platform allows applications and value-added services (VAS) to be added to the terminal, providing services that are both contextual and relevant.

The vision for the Platform is to provide an intuitive development environment that allows third parties to build high-quality applications for Verifone payment terminals without the need for recertification. It not only simplifies the process of developing and deploying third-party commerce apps, but also simplifies the actual process of writing code itself, leveraging HTML and JavaScript technologies.

On Carbon family devices, third parties can port their existing or build new Android applications. Carbon family devices support standard Android applications and related development tools. One can also develop applications interacting with the certified payment application at the terminal side, by using the Verifone developed Android Payment API.


 

Platform basic elements, in addition to the devices


 

Developer Central

The Commerce Applications SDK and developer documentation is available from Developer Central. Developer and company registration takes place on Developer Central, and only registered publishers have the right to submit apps to be published. The submission of apps to be published in the Marketplace takes place at Developer Central.
 

Tools

Commerce Applications SDK enables application development both for the Payment Terminals as well for the POS terminals. The Commerce Applications SDK is a plugin that will need to be added on the standard Android Studio IDE. The Commerce Applications SDK enables development of HTML/CSS/JS based Terminal Commerce applications as well Java based Android and Android Commerce Applications.
Verifone offers a Development Kit to run and test 3rd party applications in a real device. These Development Kits are like Payment and POS Terminals with exception that one cannot make real payments with them. The PCI certified payment application has been replaced by a reference payment application simulating real payments.  
 

Marketplace

The Marketplace is a centralized location where merchants and estate owners can view, select, and configure a wide variety of apps to deploy on their Verifone payment and POS terminals. With the Marketplace, merchants across the globe can customize point of sale terminals through innovative services that provide customers with rich, contextual experiences in store. Whether they’re looking to streamline business operations with enhanced POS functionality or want to find new ways to offer loyalty rewards to customers, merchants now have access to hundreds of applications that meet their requirements.

Estate Manager

Platform is driving enhanced estate management. With the Estate Manager portal, Estate Owners can view the device and download information on terminals they manage. The portal simplifies deployment, organization, and remote management of devices. One can view proactive maintenance and security statistics with advanced monitoring, alerts, and remote troubleshooting

Entitlement Services

Entitlement Services offers Terminal Commerce applications safe and secure connection to Internet. The Entitlement Services acts as an HTTP proxy (according to http://www.w3.org/Protocols/#rfc723x ) and will be using standard HTTP 1.1 access methods. It is not visible to application developers, with exception of tokenization service, see below.
Applications connecting to external services must be whitelisted in the Developer Central to configure Commerce Gateway for allowing apps to make connections to the external services.

Entitlement Services offers a tokenization service that can be used to convert the encrypted card data into a unique token for identifying the card's user at a 3rd party service backend.
The token is unique for a cardholder swipe on the terminal and unique across various Verifone terminals.
The token is not reversible to a PAN or input data.

 

Design and Style 

To create a unified user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) across all Verifone platforms, we provide components and templates as guidelines to be used for commerce applications. Our design philosophy is called Verifone Dark and Edgy—a modern, clean approach achieved by simplifying the interface and removing nonessential elements such as shadows, bevels, textures, etc. The overarching goal is to create a finished design that lives in only two dimensions, without losing any of the functionality that a “regular” interface provides. 
 

Monetize your app

Whether it’s a free or paid app, developers receive revenue. 
Developers and Verifone split the revenue from publishing apps and application sales to merchants. For free applications, developers pay a placement fee to Verifone.




Devices
 

A Payment Terminal


SW stack in a payment terminal includes following these main layers:
  • Operating system, can be Verifone developed (Verix) or commercial (VOS, based on Linux).
  • Runtime on top of which the installed applications run
  • Payment application that takes care of payment processing. Payment application is in scope of PCI certification. It is a native application typically developed by Verifone (SCA payment application is an example).
  • 3rd party applications. These applications are called as Terminal Commerce Applications, and are implemented with HTML/CSS/JS. HTML and CSS for building the application UI and JavaScript for application logic.
  • Terminal Commerce Applications are not in scope of PCI certification as they do not have access to the payment card info.
  • Some examples of payment devices are the new Engage family devices like P400 or P200

 

A POS Terminal


A POS terminal offers a full point-of-sale solution. The device supports both the consumer and merchant interaction with dedicated displays.

The SW stack of the consumer side is aligned with the SW stack on the payment terminals. Consumer side includes a PCI-certified payment application taking care of payment transactions, and 3rd party Terminal Commerce Applications implemented with HTML/CSS/JS.

The SW stack on the merchant side is a standard Android tablet SW stack including Android OS on top of which the 3rd party Android applications are installed.

These 3rd party apps can be standard Android apps, or they can use the Verifone-delivered Payment and Commerce APIs. In the latter case, we refer to the applications as Android Commerce Applications. Android Commerce Applications can use the Payment API to interact with the Payment application on the consumer side of the device, or the Commerce API to interact with the Terminal Commerce applications on the consumer side of the device.