VeriFone ports SAIL mobile payment reader to Google's Android


VeriFone is extending its SAIL mobile payment platform to devices running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system. SAIL launched on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone last month.

The SAIL service enables merchants to process credit and debit payments by sliding the customer's card through a dongle that plugs into a smartphone audio jack--a technological approach that closely recalls rival efforts from Square and PayPal. SAIL also offers integration with VeriFone countertop point-of-sale hardware. VeriFone bills lower-volume businesses a flat 2.7 percent fee for swiped transactions; merchants with higher payment volumes may select a monthly $9.95 subscription option with a 1.95 percent transaction rate.

Brian Hamilton, vice president of SMB Commerce at VeriFone, told GigaOM that the company is collaborating with a number of partners to expand the SAIL platform to include third-party services like loyalty programs and customer relations management tools, all based on open APIs. Hamilton said VeriFone will unveil the first SAIL integrations next month. In addition, the firm is offering a SAIL software development kit to encourage developers and content providers to introduce mobile payment functionality into their applications.

"You've got to be prepared to play nicely with the existing ecosystem and that's what we want to be," Hamilton said. "I don't think Square can affectively do it all themselves as they move up market."

VeriFone ran afoul of Square last month when GigaOM reported that more than half of the text at the heart of the SAIL user agreement copied Square's contract on a word-for-word basis. VeriFone promptly deleted roughly a third of the SAIL user agreement, paring the document from 10,525 words and 43 sections to 6,452 words and 25 sections.

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